Ending unemployment benefit early to fill jobs didn’t work, says state rep

Sep 10, 2021, 3:47 PM | Updated: Sep 12, 2021, 10:45 am
jobs unemployment benefit help wanted sign...
FILE: AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s governor ended the federal pandemic unemployment benefit of $300 a week in June to move laid-off Utah workers into open jobs, but that didn’t pan out, says a state lawmaker.

Job creation in the country fell flat in August. About 235,000 jobs were filled but expectations were for 720,000 new hires. 

But the US jobless rate fell from 5.4% to 5.2%. And Utah is the envy of all states with an unemployment rate of 2.6% in August, second only to Nebraska at 2.5%.

Banker and lawmaker weighs in on end of unemployment benefit

Utah state Rep. Robert Spendlove, who is the Economic and Public Policy officer at Zions Bank, joined Inside Sources to break down what’s going on with the economy nationally and statewide.

Spendlove said 235,000 jobs created in a normal month would be excellent, but the US is still 5 million jobs down from its pre-pandemic peak.

He said a few weeks ago he started to see early indicators of an economic slump, such as in-person dining and airline reservations dropping. The national jobs report Friday confirmed those suspicions.

‘Back to normal’

Congress’ historic expansion of the expanded unemployment benefit expired nationwide last weekend.

Laid-off Utahns lost their weekly $300 federal pandemic-unemployment benefit on June 26. 

“This is the natural next step in getting the state and people’s lives back to normal,” Gov. Spencer Cox said in May while announcing the end to the $300 unemployment benefit.

“There was a theory that as those enhanced unemployment benefits ended, that it would pull more people back into the labor force. What’s interesting is at least up till this point, we haven’t seen clear signs of that. So the states that didn’t end the unemployment insurance early and the states that did are seeing similar employment patterns,” Spendlove said.

Child care during the pandemic

Spendlove said data showed women re-entering the work force in spring but that trend reversed itself in August.

“We saw a very low number. Only about 20% of the people coming into the labor force were women. And so we continue to see that struggle, and I think that’s directly tied to childcare,” he said.


Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

Inside Sources

Inflation caused gas to skyrocket....
Curt Gresseth

Sen. Mitt Romney talks inflation and economy

High home and gas prices and inflation, are causing real hardships for Utahns and Democrats will be blamed by voters, Sen. Mitt Romney told Inside Sources.
2 months ago
cheeseburger inflation...
Curt Gresseth

Why does my cheeseburger cost so much? Most ingredients touched by inflation.

A reporter joined the show and walked us through the reasons that popular cheeseburger ingredients have jumped in price since March of 2021.
2 months ago
A Utah woman shadowed lawmakers...
Curt Gresseth

Utah woman shadowed lawmakers to ease her political rage

Frustrated and angry with politics, a Utah woman shadowed state lawmakers to gain a better understanding of the process and to lower her own political rage.
3 months ago
a tax form, 1040, is often used to file taxes...
Curt Gresseth

What’s the holdup on my tax refund?

A tax expert talked to Inside Sources about new duties given to the IRS and why your tax refund is taking so long to arrive.
3 months ago
Homeless persons sit in a closed business on North Temple in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, April 6, 20...
Curt Gresseth

Everyone can do something to help, says advocate for homeless in Utah

Utah homeless advocated Pamela Atkinson said there are actions we can all take to help provide assistance to the unsheltered.
3 months ago
A U.S. plan takes off. An adjunct philosophy professor says a no-fly zone in Ukraine could spark WW...
Curt Gresseth

Why a no-fly zone over Ukraine would ignite WWIII

A no-fly zone over Ukraine would mean U.S. warplanes shooting down Russian fighter jets and that would lead to World War III, says a magazine columnist and philosophy professor.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Ending unemployment benefit early to fill jobs didn’t work, says state rep