WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Another 2.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week. According to the Labor Department, Georgia and Florida are seeing the largest increases in initial unemployment claims.
“Folks are opening back up, but they can’t get their people to come back to work,” Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA) said Thursday.
Allen said his state is seeing such a high number of jobless claims because Georgians are making more money at home than on the job. He said the $600 unemployment payment included in the last relief bill is keeping people at home.
“That was an error that should have never happened,” Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) said Thursday.
Carter said that money was meant for hard-hit states like New York and not for everyone.
Both Carter and Allen said Congress’ mistake is impacting Georgia’s economy.
“We’re ready to go back to work and unfortunately there are some programs that were put out there to disincentivize people to do that,” Allen added.
Georgia had an increase of more than 14,000 initial claims last week, but Florida had triple that.
“We’ve been really hard hit,” Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) said Thursday.
Nearly 50,000 Floridians filed claims last week. Castor said that’s because much of the state’s economy depends on tourism and hospitality.
She said the $600 safety net Congress put in place shouldn’t be pulled away any time soon.
“It’s not the time to be stingy. We really need to work together to make sure that we’re looking out for our neighbors,” Castor added.
Castor and other House Democrats are pushing for an extension of unemployment benefits in the HEROES Act.
Republicans said that’s not happening.
“They’re gonna have to run flat over me in order to get that done,” Carter added.
The enhanced unemployment benefits are set to end July 31.