Ohio Farm Bureau supports ending supplemental unemployment aid

On Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced that on June 26, Ohio will be ending the supplemental unemployment aid from the federal government. The unemployment checks, totaling $300 per week, were part of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.

“When this program was put in place, it was a lifeline for many Americans at a time when the only weapon we had in fighting the virus was to slow its spread through social distancing, masking and sanitization,” DeWine said. “That is no longer the case. That is no longer our only tool in this fight. This assistance was always intended to be temporary.”

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act bolstered states’ capability to assist workers who were not eligible for unemployment benefits through unemployment insurance. The act was originally signed by President Donald Trump and featured $600 weekly checks. President Joe Biden extended the act before the December 2020 expiration as part of the American Rescue Plan, with a lower $300 per week benefit amount.

“The unemployment supplement from the federal government helped many Ohioans get through a very challenging time, but it was intended to be a short-term solution,” said Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Adam Sharp. “As businesses continue to do their best to respond to the growing demand across the food and farm sector, there are plentiful opportunities for the state’s workforce to get back on the job to help Ohio’s economy return to pre-pandemic levels. We appreciate Governor DeWine taking the steps needed for the long-term success of Ohio’s employers and their employees.”

The governor said this decision was made due to many sectors dealing with labor shortages, adding that the June 26 deadline allows enough time for anyone wanting to be vaccinated to do so before returning to work.