North Dakota to Restore Pre-Pandemic Unemployment Programs

BISMARCK, ND (STL.News) North Dakota will terminate its participation in the federal government’s pandemic-related unemployment assistance programs, effective June 19, to help address the ongoing workforce shortage across the state, Gov. Doug Burgum announced today.

North Dakota elected to participate in four unemployment-related programs in connection with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act of 2020.

The agreement that was signed to initiate these programs allows North Dakota or the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) to terminate the programs upon 30 days’ written notice to the other party.  North Dakota’s written notice was provided to the USDOL today.

“After fighting through severe stress and financial hardship, many North Dakota businesses that survived the pandemic are now facing an unprecedented labor shortage as they attempt to recover,” Burgum said.  “These federal unemployment programs were meant to supplement state benefits and provide short-term relief for displaced and vulnerable workers, and these programs have accomplished their goals but are now counterproductive.  Safe, effective vaccines have been available to every adult in North Dakota for months now, and we have an abundance of job openings with employers who are eager to hire.”

North Dakota had 16,396 online job openings in April, which was nearly 50 percent higher than the same period in 2020 and represents the state’s largest number of online job openings since July 2015, according to Job Service North Dakota.

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