May 13, 2021 (Madison) – The state’s leading small business advocate, NFIB, or the National Federation of Independent Business, is urging Governor Evers to follow the lead of other states and end participation in the federal supplemental unemployment benefit program that provides an additional $300 a week in benefits that extends until September. Here’s what it will do for small business owners: help them not only recover from the pandemic, but hep them find find people that they are desperately trying trying to find to fill open job positions.
NFIB’s latest jobs report that shows a record 44% of small business owners report having job openings they could not fill, 22 points higher than the 48-year historical average, and two points higher than the 42% figure from March. April is the third consecutive month with a record-high reading of unfilled job openings among small businesses.
“It is time to reconsider Wisconsin’s participation in the federally funded temporary pandemic UI programs that have been extended under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, and replace them with return to work incentives,” said NFIB Wisconsin State Director, Bill G. Smith. “Montana, South Carolina, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and a number of other states have already announced plans to move in that direction as hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country, and in Wisconsin, go unfilled.
“As states terminate their participation in the federal unemployment insurance benefit programs, they are motivating and creating back to work incentive programs which will help small business employers quickly rebuild their workforce and accelerate our state’s economic recovery.”
According to the Department of Labor guidelines, states are free to terminate their entire agreement for the extended federal pandemic unemployment programs, or only specific provisions of the agreement, with thirty days written notice if it chooses to no longer administer the programs.