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

May 13, 2021

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.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey at an April 2020 briefing.
Credit Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool

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.