Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - On June 27, jobless Oklahomans will find that the extra $300 they've been counting on each week from unemployment has dried up.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced May 17 that the Sooner State would end its participation in the federal program that gave residents additional unemployment benefits because of the COVID-19 pandemic. About 25 other states have made similar moves.
According to Daniel Zhao, a senior economist at Glassdoor, a job and recruiting website, nearly 4 million Americans will be affected by the states' decisions to end the enhanced benefits.
In an executive order filed May 17, Stitt announced that in addition to reverting back to pre-pandemic unemployment insurance benefits and eligibility requirements starting June 27, Oklahoma will also start a new Back-to-Work Initiative that will offer a one-time, $1,200 incentive to assist those returning to the workforce.
The initiative will allow Oklahomans to receive the incentive upon leaving any unemployment assistance program, including unemployment insurance, and providing pay stubs for six weeks of consecutive employment with the same employer or a company with an FEIN number or an employer that pays into the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. The incentive programs runs through Sept. 4 or until 20,000 people have received the incentive, whichever is earlier. Applicants may begin applying June 28.
Businesses across the county are in desperate need of employees. To help place individuals returning to the workforce with businesses looking to hire, a county-wide job fair is being planned.
The hiring event will held June 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in downtown Sallisaw at the location of the Farmer's Market.
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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