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Georgia Becomes 13th State To Reject Unemployment Benefits Extension

(Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg General Assignment Reporter
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Georgia will reject expanded unemployment benefits associated with the American Rescue Plan, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp announced Thursday.

“We’re not going to be participating in the federal subsidy any longer. That’s going to be a date in mid-to-late June. We’re working with the labor commissioner, and we’ll have more information on that soon,” Kemp told Fox News. “Every small business owner, and the workers that are currently working, they need more people. It’s hurting our productivity.”

Georgia is the thirteenth state to announce that it will not accept the extra $300 in unemployment that the federal government offered as part of the American Rescue Plan. South Carolina, Alabama, Iowa, Idaho, Missouri, Wyoming, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Utah, and North Dakota already announced that they would not accept the expansion.

“Our economy is built upon an active and vibrant workforce, and we should be cultivating job-creation and unemployment rather than inhibiting them,” Republican Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe said Wednesday.

The United States economy added only 266,000 jobs in April, coming in well short of expectations. (RELATED: April’s Job Growth Was Far Short Of Expectations. Here’s Why Hiring Slowed)

Economists have long recognized that increasing unemployment benefits discourages labor force participation, Manhattan Institute economist Brian Riedl told the Daily Caller. The American Rescue Plan increased total unemployment benefits to $687 a week when combined with state funds, Forbes noted.

“This is a terrific natural experiment for economists. Economic literature has suggested for decades that overly generous unemployment benefits drive up unemployment rates and delay the getting of new jobs. We’ll have a chance to test that theory with the states that are going to reject the unemployment benefits.”

“I suspect that the economic consensus is correct, and we will see more job gains in the states that are not paying as large of an unemployment bonus. We’ll find out,” Riedl said.