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Gov. Holcomb announces end to federal pandemic unemployment benefits

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Federal pandemic unemployment benefits in Indiana are coming to an end.

On Monday, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced that all federally funded unemployment insurance programs would end June 19. The federal benefits were designed to continue through early September.

Republican governors in states ending the pandemic benefits have cited workforce shortages and the improving economy as the reasons behind their decisions. They argue that the generous benefits — which Congress first approved in its massive coronavirus relief plan in March 2020 and extended twice since — are keeping Americans from returning to the labor market.

According to the announcement from the governor, these programs will come to an end:

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides a $300 weekly add-on to recipients of unemployment insurance.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides recipients extended benefits after their traditional 26 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits have been exhausted.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides benefits to individuals who do not normally qualify for unemployment benefits, such as self-employed, gig workers, and independent contractors.
  • Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC), which provides a $100 additional weekly benefit for individuals who are eligible for regular unemployment benefits but also earned at least $5,000 in self-employment income.

In the past four weeks, here from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, is the number of Hoosiers receiving various benefits from the federal programs:

  • Unemployment Insurance, 37,038.
  • PUA, 70,571.
  • PEUC, 62,529.

“There are help wanted signs posted all over Indiana, and while our economy took a hit last year, it is roaring like an Indy 500 race car engine now. I am hearing from multiple sector employers that they want and need to hire more Hoosiers to grow,” Holcomb said in a statement. “We have a myriad of work options in every region of our state with many more coming online every week.”

According to the governor’s office, Indiana’s unemployment rate currently stands at 3.9%, down significantly from a 17% high during the height of the pandemic.

CNN contributed to this story.