Chamber of Commerce in Shreveport speaks on pandemic-related unemployment


SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Beginning in June, 22 states, including Texas and Mississippi, are planning to block the $300-per-week federal payment for the unemployed.

Earlier this month, The Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce sponsored a hospitality job fair and said more than a dozen companies participated with hundreds of positions to fill, but only eight people showed up to the job fair.

Timothy Magner, president of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, says Louisiana should follow suit because it is difficult getting people back to work.

“Our belief is that being able to transition folks off of the federal benefits would be an important opportunity to expand their interest in looking for jobs,” said Timothy Magner.

Magner says it is time to end the extra $300 a week federal unemployment payments rather than waiting until they expire on September sixth. It will give people the push they need to get back to work.

“It has the potential to degrade the economy if businesses aren’t able to staff up in order to be able to meet those growing demands.”

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has not made a decision yet. However, Magner says he is taking things into consideration and can make a sound decision once summer tourism is in full effect.

“And until tourism is back, their jobs are not going to be back, and so I am reluctant to prematurely lift of those enhanced federal unemployment benefits.”

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