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Alabama Republicans praise governor for ending federal unemployment aid

The federal pandemic assistance benefits for individuals will end beginning June 19.


Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville, GOP Congressmen Gary Palmer and Robert Aderholt, as well as Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth and the Alabama affiliate of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, are praising Gov. Kay Ivey for her decision to end Alabama’s participation in the federal pandemic unemployment benefits.

Effective June 19, the state will no longer participate in all federal unemployment benefits related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Businesses need workers, especially in Alabama,” Tuberville said. “We should be encouraging folks to take opportunities to reenter the workforce, not choose to take unemployment benefits and stay home. I applaud Governor Ivey’s decision.”

Palmer said:

“I applaud Governor Ivey for her common-sense decision to end what was always intended to be short-term assistance. Alabama’s unemployment rate has stayed notably lower than the national average, and we’re at a point where continued dependence on federal assistance will only hinder our recovery. Reopening businesses and getting people back to work are the best solution to the economic crisis of the last year, not indefinite reliance on unemployment benefits. The April Jobs Report showed the national unemployment rate rising again, which reinforces what I have heard from businesses owners – that paying people not to work results in people not willing to work, leaving businesses operating at far less than full capacity. This decision will make it easier for businesses to fully open, and I commend Governor Ivey for taking this step to help our state economy come back stronger than ever.”

Aderholt said:

“All across the 4th District people are hiring. Continuing these extended and expanded unemployment checks is a solution looking for a problem, and in fact it’s creating one. I applaud Governor Ivey for this decision.”

Ainsworth said:

“Alabama businesses have HELP WANTED signs posted, but D.C. Democrats have removed the incentives to apply for work. Ending the unemployment supplement will help businesses get the workers they need and put people back in the workforce. Thanks to Gov. Ivey for taking action now.”

NFIB State Director Rosemary Elebash released a statement in response to Ivey’s decision:

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“NFIB wants to thank Governor Ivey for making this difficult decision. When the pandemic began, businesses had to reduce hours, limit services or close altogether, and hundreds of thousands of Alabamians lost their jobs. Congress stepped up and voted to supplement their unemployment checks with federal dollars so families could get through the crisis without losing everything.

“Since then, Alabama’s economy has turned around, businesses are hiring, but people aren’t applying. Owners have increased their wages, but a record 44% of U.S. small business owners surveyed last month by NFIB reported they still have positions they can’t fill. The worker shortage is affecting the supply chain and customer service and hampering Alabama’s economic recovery.

“Our members hope that by ending these federal subsidies, people will be encouraged to return to the workforce, and businesses will have workers to meet the demand created as Governor Ivey has eased COVID-19 restrictions.”

Congressman Jerry Carl, R-Alabama, said Friday:

“We have got to do a better job of getting folks back to work quicker. Employers are struggling to find workers because many schools across the country still aren’t open, plus they are unable to compete with unemployment benefits. It’s time for big government to get out of the way so we can fully reopen schools and get people back to work quickly.”

“Alabama has an unemployment rate of 3.8%, the lowest in the Southeast, and significantly lower than the national unemployment rate,” Ivey said in her announcement. “Our Department of Labor is reporting that there are more available jobs now than prior to the pandemic. Jobs are out there. We have announced the end date of our state of emergency, there are no industry shutdowns, and daycares are operating with no restrictions. Vaccinations are available for all adults. Alabama is giving the federal government our 30-day notice that it’s time to get back to work.”

The National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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