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Gov. Ducey To End Federal Pandemic Unemployment Benefit, Announces $2,000 Worker Bonus

Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool

Governor Doug Ducey says Arizona will no longer accept federal COVID-19 unemployment benefit funds for workers impacted by the pandemic. It’s part of the governor’s plan announced Thursday to boost hiring in the state. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Ducey says the $300 a week federal benefit deters unemployed people from seeking jobs. It’ll end July 10, and instead the state will tap $300 million in federal funds to offer one-time payments of $2,000 to those who return full-time to the workforce. People who get part-time jobs will receive $1,000.

Without the federal benefit unemployed Arizonans would be eligible for a maximum weekly payment of $240, one of the lowest unemployment benefits of any state in the nation.

Several other states have also stopped taking the federal pandemic unemployment assistance.

Ducey also says Arizona will provide childcare help to those returning to work along with housing assistance and education incentives like community college scholarships.

According to Ducey, the restaurant and hospitality industry in particular has struggled to find workers after widespread layoffs last year amid the worsening pandemic.

Ryan Heinsius was named interim news director and managing editor in January 2024. He joined KNAU's newsroom as an executive producer in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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