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unemployment trends

FGA Responds to Recent Government Reports Showing an Economic Comeback in States Ending Enhanced Federal Unemployment Benefits and Bonuses

Naples, FL — Last week, two major reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published findings on the latest unemployment trends. In conjunction with additional data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the U.S. Census Bureau, these findings continue to show extremely positive trends for states that ended participation in expanded federal unemployment programs and bonuses.

Between late May and July, the number of people collecting unemployment declined by roughly 60 percent in states that ended participation in federal unemployment bonus programs. In contrast, states that continued participation saw a decline of just eight percent. 

Additionally, in the month of July, employment among prime-age workers (aged 25-54) grew by nearly 500,000 in opt out states—more than 40 times faster than in states continuing participation in enhanced federal unemployment benefits and bonuses. Similarly, unemployment among prime-age workers dropped by nearly 14 percent in states that opted out—more than three times faster than in states that continued the bonus.

“After ending their participation in expanded federal unemployment insurance programs, states are seeing tremendous growth in employment that outpaces states that have chosen to continue the unemployment bonus,” said Hayden Dublois, Senior Research Analyst at FGA. “These figures all point to one conclusion: In order to fully guarantee the economic recovery, Congress must allow enhanced federal unemployment benefits and bonuses to expire as scheduled on September 6.”


The Foundation for Government Accountability is a non-profit, multi-state think tank that specializes in health care, welfare, and work reform. To learn more, visit

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