Governor Kemp opts Georgia out of federal unemployment in effort to get Georgians back to work


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is looking to get people back to work by cutting some unemployment benefits. He announced Thursday, the state will opt out of federal benefits.

“We’re all hungry for people, we’re all desperate to fill the positions that we have open,” says Isaac Kelly.

Kelly is the Vice President of Augusta Staffing Associates and he says pre-pandemic their office was receiving around 150 to 200 applications a week. Now they see about a quarter of those applications.

He says “It could be that we’ve been incentivized to stay home and stay safe.”

Governor Kemp announced Thursday that Georgia would be opting out of federal unemployment benefits. That means people getting those benefits will no longer see that extra 300 dollars on their weekly checks. They’ll also now have to prove they’ve been actively searching for work.

“Before today, you didn’t have to look for work, you just had to file a claim and it could be something as simple as I don’t feel safe working right now and that was enough to actually have an approved claim,” says Kelly.

He says right now there’s a trend to find jobs where people can work from home, but there aren’t too many open positions for remote working.

Kelly says, “The ZipRecruiter has a survey that was out, 60 plus percent of the people that are looking for work are looking for remote work, but only 9 percent of the jobs that are offered on any platform are remote work.”

Governor Kemp is following suit with several other states including South Carolina to opt-out of these federal benefits he said in a statement quote

Georgians deserve to get back to normal and today’s announced economic recovery plan will help more employees and businesses to do so… and Kelly agrees

“There is light at the end of the tunnel we will get there, I think maybe in the next 3 to 6 months max six months but I think for the next 2 to 3 months it’s going to be huge for everybody to do their own part,” he said.

This plan will go into effect on June 26th giving those who are unemployed a little over a month to find work.

From hospitality jobs, to office jobs to jobs where you work outside– There are hundreds of openings you can find online.

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