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As federal unemployment program comes to an end, Hoosiers say it's time to get back to work

Governor Eric Holcomb announced Monday that Indiana is dropping a federal program that provides $300 weekly to those on unemployment effective June 19.

Posted: May 17, 2021 9:38 PM
Updated: May 18, 2021 11:42 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- “Help Wanted” signs spotted in downtown store-fronts.

“To have able-bodied people paid to sit at home is just counterproductive,” Randell Morrison said.

The Fort Wayne resident says plenty of businesses are hiring, but people don’t want to work for them.

“They are actually incentivized to stay at home or go to something besides work and that’s why nobody comes to apply. Or they come and apply just to get the heat off of their backs so they can go collect more unemployment,” he said. 

Governor Eric Holcomb announced Monday that Indiana is dropping a federal program that provides $300 weekly to those on unemployment.

Holcomb signed an executive order last week that reinstates a requirement that those receiving unemployment benefits will again have to show they are actively searching for work as of June 1.

The Indiana Democratic Party argues the reason for the workforce shortage is low wages and minimal benefits, not unemployment insurance. 

"We cannot ignore the reality that it's time for Indiana to increase its minimum wage and provide better opportunities for our workers. Over 892,000 Hoosiers currently earn a minimum wage job, and while it's a goal for every worker to achieve their highest potential, we must do everything possible to create a bridge to help all Hoosiers succeed.” Executive Director Lauren Ganapini said. 

The unemployment rate in Indiana is currently 3.9 percent, a quarter of what it was at the height of the pandemic.

Business owners say they're were grateful for the COVID-19 relief programs, but now it’s time to rejoin the workforce.

“That means going back to the jobs and improving the economy that way. Because I know there are many small business owners who have been struggling,” Kanela Owner Flora Barron said. 

She’s having trouble finding people who want to work full-time.

“I think many of them may want some benefits that we cannot offer right now, so we have mainly college students. We have six or seven students,” she said. 

Kerry Bowley of Fort Wayne says it’s a double-edged sword.

“It was horrible that people couldn’t work during that whole time," Bowley adds. "What were we supposed to live on?”

Bowley says she’s grateful the benefits were there for those laid off during the pandemic.

Now, she says, it’s time to get back to work.

The changes are expected to take effect on June 19. 

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 752108

Reported Deaths: 13816
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033831790
Lake558431013
Allen41736693
St. Joseph37007565
Hamilton36617417
Elkhart29425461
Tippecanoe22938228
Vanderburgh22565400
Porter19369327
Johnson18486389
Hendricks17696317
Clark13233195
Madison13176344
Vigo12631253
LaPorte12429221
Monroe12226176
Delaware10970198
Howard10349224
Kosciusko9643121
Hancock8578147
Bartholomew8174157
Warrick7864156
Floyd7815180
Grant7248179
Wayne7164201
Boone6979103
Morgan6768141
Dubois6224118
Marshall6214116
Cass6024110
Henry5903110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509476
Shelby502396
Lawrence4753122
Gibson445595
Clinton443555
Harrison441775
DeKalb440385
Montgomery439890
Whitley406744
Huntington403381
Steuben400859
Miami395769
Jasper389155
Knox377691
Putnam373461
Wabash362383
Ripley347370
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332753
Daviess3035100
Wells295481
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey274335
LaGrange273272
Scott270356
Clay267148
Washington246336
Randolph245183
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228159
Fountain222048
Sullivan214843
Owen212358
Fulton204043
Jay201032
Carroll193820
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion175344
Franklin170435
Tipton166646
Parke149616
Pike138334
Blackford136232
Pulaski120847
Newton114936
Brown104443
Benton102614
Crawford102516
Martin91815
Warren84115
Switzerland8158
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0424

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1109697

Reported Deaths: 20213
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1289521469
Cuyahoga1158802216
Hamilton814201251
Montgomery525861049
Summit484551006
Lucas43384824
Butler39098606
Stark33355930
Lorain25689506
Warren24612305
Mahoning22388602
Lake21219389
Clermont20138253
Delaware18892136
Licking16671225
Fairfield16589204
Trumbull16560483
Medina15618273
Greene15292248
Clark14244306
Wood13296200
Portage13254216
Allen11919239
Richland11611211
Miami10857225
Wayne9153225
Columbiana9039230
Muskingum8909135
Pickaway8664122
Tuscarawas8654251
Marion8649139
Erie8058165
Ashtabula7171179
Hancock6999133
Ross6948163
Geauga6850151
Scioto6540106
Belmont6159174
Union585049
Lawrence5741102
Jefferson5683159
Huron5554122
Sandusky5444126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5321109
Athens524460
Auglaize502487
Mercer487785
Shelby477095
Knox4573112
Madison444566
Ashland435997
Putnam4336104
Defiance432399
Fulton432274
Crawford4046110
Brown402761
Logan387678
Preble3859105
Clinton379266
Ottawa373581
Highland360266
Williams348578
Champaign344959
Guernsey325254
Jackson318454
Perry297350
Morrow291940
Fayette285750
Hardin275765
Henry273867
Holmes2703101
Coshocton269360
Van Wert247264
Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240850
Wyandot234756
Hocking220663
Carroll197548
Paulding176642
Meigs148540
Monroe136345
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan110124
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
84° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 84°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 82°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 80°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
84° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 84°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
83° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 82°
Daily rounds of showers and thunderstorms will increase the flood threat across northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.
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