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NOTEBOOK – ONE GOOD READ: Wall Street Journal: Ending unemployment benefits early had no effect on job growth


States that ended enhanced federal unemployment benefits early have so far seen about the same job growth as states that continued offering the pandemic-related extra aid, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis and economists. However, economists also say it may be too early to define the effects of cutting off the additional aid early. The additional $300 per week payments are going to end for all states on Sept. 6. Iowa is among 25 states, largely led by Republican governors, that ended the enhanced benefits early on the belief that the additional payments were dampening job growth by encouraging people to remain at home. A proposed class-action lawsuit filed last week in Polk County argues Reynolds’ decision violated state law and seeks to allow Iowans cut off from the enhanced payments to receive potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in unemployment aid they have been denied, as the Associated Press reported. Mark Vitner, a Wells Fargo economist who last week provided an update on the U.S. labor market that I listened in on and wrote about, said he believes that the additional pandemic unemployment payments were the largest contributor to reduced workforce participation among lower-wage workers.

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