Gov. John Bel Edwards said last week that he is probably going to end the $300 federal supplement to state unemployment benefits.
Edwards is likely to end the $300 supplement at the end of July.
The enhanced federal benefit was enacted because of Coronavirus. It has become a major political issue, with many elected officials blaming the $300 extra weekly payment for the lack of available workers.
In Louisiana, the average state unemployment payment is between $180 and $210 per week, with a maximum of $247. Adding the state payment to the federal supplement has provided more money than many lower wage workers were accustomed to receiving, making them reluctant to return to work, according to some elected officials.
The end of the $300 federal supplement in Louisiana next month will come as a result of a compromise in the state legislature. Legislators agreed to raise the state unemployment benefits by $28 per week starting next year in return for Edwards ending the federal supplement in July.
He becomes the first Democratic governor to announce an intention to stop the federal payments. All but three Republican governors have announced that their states will end federal payments. Nearby Mississippi will become one of the first states to drop the federal payments when it does so this week.
In the Franklinton area, some businesses, particularly fast food restaurants, have been hurting for employees. In St. Tammany Parish, businesses in almost all categories are having problems finding workers. Business leaders believe the removal of the federal supplement will ease the worker shortage considerably.