SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Saturday marked the end of the pandemic jobless benefits after being extended multiple times to help the millions of Americans negatively impacted financially by COVID-19.
That means no more supplemental $300 payments for the unemployed, that was receiving $600 a week.
“A lot of people rely on that funding, but I think its time to move on, we extended it out long enough,” said State Rep. Angelo Puppolo.
Critics of the extended benefits say they directly contributed to the national labor shortage, hurting restaurants and many other types of businesses. There are over 200,000 jobs up for grabs in the state and businesses are asking themselves the question; when will the unemployed apply for them?
“We are extremely, unusually busy. People want to spend dining out, which we love that’s why we are in business. But we have such a great shortage of employees,” said Nadim Kashouh, Owner of Nadim’s. “I’ve been in business for 21 years and never have seen anything like that.”
Kashouh said workers have a leg up in the negotiations now, as well as their choice of jobs. But applicants are still scarce for Nadim’s, something that’s also been the case for businesses in states that opted out of the extended federal unemployment benefits earlier this year.
The latest federal labor report shows that 180,000 Massachusetts residents will have to go without the federal jobless benefits, that is 10 thousand fewer people from two months ago. The more than 62,000 claimants who lost a job this year will continue receiving state unemployment insurance benefits.