West Virginia pays off federal unemployment loans

West Virginia fully paid off its federal unemployment loans received during the COVID-19 pandemic and has enough money to also provide businesses with lower premium rates next year, Gov. Jim Justice announced Thursday.

During the pandemic, West Virginia borrowed about $185 million from the federal government through loans from the Department of Treasury so it could continue to pay unemployment benefits amid historically high unemployment rates. The state was able to secure $220 million in state funds for the unemployment insurance trust fund, which allowed it to fully pay off the loan and provide businesses with a 25% reduction

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VB business owner hopeful staffing shortages will improve as unemployment benefits come to an end

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Sunday had the perfect weather weekend to signify the end of summer. Locals and visitors flocked to the oceanfront to soak in the sunshine. 

Some of them, participating in the last Heineken Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach series half marathon.

Around the corner off 19th street, Three Shipps Coffee Roasters was bustling with business Sunday morning as runners looked for some post-marathon relief.

“Busy weekend, excited to have people in town seems like kind of the summer winding down,” smiled the owner Brad Ewing.

Ewing says business has done so well he’s trying to expand

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Department of Labor Announces Unemployment Insurance System Reform

BrianAJackson / Getty Images/iStockphoto

BrianAJackson / Getty Images/iStockphoto

The pandemic sparked many changes in the world, from the growth of Zoom meetings to pointing out shortcomings in many of our existing systems. Positive change can come from challenges, and the U.S. Department of Labor is one of the most recent examples. The federal agency has created a new office to modernize and reform the unemployment system, providing strategic leadership to work with state agencies and federal partners, according to a press release issued this week.

See: Labor Department Commits $240M to Fight Unemployment Fraud
Find: States That Ended Unemployment Benefits Early Saw a $2

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There’s no good time to return to pre-pandemic unemployment insurance system

For American workers, Labor Day this year brings both reasons to celebrate and reasons to be wary. The labor market recovery from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been strong, but it remains incomplete and unevenly distributed. Job openings are plentiful, but economic shifts have complicated returning to work for many people, who also face continued public health concerns and ongoing caregiving challenges. 

On top of that uneven recovery, the federal emergency unemployment insurance (UI) benefits enacted in response to COVID-19 are due to expire this Labor Day weekend, on Sept. 6. With continued uncertainty around

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