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FGA Economic Outlook Following the Expiration of the Unemployment Bonus

Naples, FL– Yesterday, the increased federal unemployment benefits originally created by the CARES Act expired after 18 months and multiple extensions. The expiration follows bipartisan support from executive and legislative officials at both the state and federal level, who opted to allow the benefits to expire.

Early research from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) explained the impacts of these increased benefits, pointing to increased fraud, decreased workforce participation, and less solvent trust funds. FGA supported the decision made by 26 governors to end increased benefits in their states before the expiration deadline.

Now, following the opting out of benefits by 26 governors, statements in support of expiration from the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Treasury, and President Biden’s approval, the benefits are ending on schedule. FGA looks forward to the inevitable economic recovery that will follow the end of this program.

“Since July 2020, FGA research has proven the need to end increased unemployment benefits to empower Americans to return to work. More than half of states opted out of the unemployment bonus, and those states are beginning to see the same economic recovery our research predicted,” said Joe Horvath, Senior Fellow at FGA. “At the time, this temporary measure was a fast response to a rapidly depleted job market caused by government shutdowns. Unfortunately, this program also had unintended but very predictable negative consequences, including an explosion of fraud and incentives against work. Now, jobs are there for those who need work, and the expiration of the bonus will help small businesses get America back on track.”

In August, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) announced that the economy saw total employment increase by 235,000 positions, falling significantly short of the 720,000 positions economists had anticipated. With the end of increased unemployment benefits and reinfusion of individuals into the workforce, this fall will likely see a reversal of that trend.

 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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