Jobless Benefits End This Weekend for Gig Workers

As Californians celebrate Labor Day weekend, millions will see their unemployment benefits reduced or cut off altogether.

That’s because the federal government on Saturday is ending four key programs intended to help keep people afloat amid the pandemic — a shift that will cause about 2.2 million of the 3 million Californians currently receiving some form of unemployment insurance to completely lose their benefits, according to the state Employment Development Department.

The cutoff will primarily affect two groups of people. The first: gig workers, the self-employed and those ineligible for typical unemployment insurance. The second: those who used up their standard benefits but were still unable to find a job.

Another 500,000 Californians receiving regular benefits will no longer receive a $300 weekly supplement from the feds. President Joe Biden’s administration in August told states they could use federal relief funds to continue paying the supplement themselves, but California — which has already allocated all of that money — seems unlikely to do so. Meanwhile, nearly 19,000 people have signed a petition asking Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers to extend pandemic jobless benefits.

With the legislative session ending in a week, staffers told me they weren’t seeing any movement among lawmakers to repurpose federal funds. Newsom’s office did not respond to a request for a comment. Voters concerned about their EDD benefits could be a key voter bloc in the Sept. 14 recall election.

On Sept. 11, yet another federal program will end: a 13- to 20-week extension of unemployment benefits beyond the traditional 26-week cutoff. And, on Sept. 30, California’s eviction moratorium is set to expire.

The rapidly unraveling safety net comes as California seeks to jump-start its economy: Though the Golden State is leading the nation in job creation, it’s also home to the country’s second-highest unemployment rate. Yet there are signs things are heading in the right direction. Around 60,000 Californians filed initial jobless claims for the week ending Aug. 28 — a sizable decrease from the week before, federal numbers show.

Still, experts say it’s unlikely the expiring programs will result in workers flooding California’s job market. They also note it will take a while for jobs to be filled.

Michael Bernick, a former EDD director and an attorney at Duane Morris said: “California employers and staffing companies can expect to see an uptick in job seekers, but the job placement process will be a gradual one, and the extent to which California workers are reconsidering their previous occupations remains unclear.”

 

10 Comments

  1. This is SO sad. To think I’ll no longer be deprived of the immense joy of seeing my money being used to pay people to sit on their ass.
    Simply heart wrenching.

  2. Some of the more astute readers may have noticed that the preceding comment makes no sense. I apologize. Please delete the words “deprived of” and substitute with “blessed with”.
    There. That’s what I meant to say!

  3. Can’t wait til we are out of this state of limbo. It’s sad really, because with a lingering economy, and people who don’t want to work (hence the great resignation), how do we expect to continue to build the future….

  4. I am weeping incessantly over the news the ‘free money’ is coming to an end.

    RECALL NEWSOM WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE!

    Have a good day!

    David S. Wall

  5. Elitist Governor Gavin New(TAX)som with his ‘RULES for THEE but NOT for ME’ attitudes.

    “…Newsom has unilaterally determined whether people are allowed to make a living or not.”

    Besides breaking his own overbearing rules, Newsom favored his rich friends with GRIFT Gifts:
    “French Laundry Restaurant Where Newsom Dined Received Over $2.4 Million in PPP COVID Loans”
    This was 17 Times more than what the average Bay Area restaurant received from the PPP.

    “In CA, nearly 40,000 small businesses had closed by September 2020, according to data analyzed by the New York Times.”
    “The businesses hit hardest by state & county stay-at-home orders (were) small businesses,

    The impact in LA County was particularly pronounced, where, according to 2019 Census data, 88% of businesses had fewer than 20 employees – places such as restaurants, bars and hair salons. “
    ——————–

    “Everything we get, outside of the Free Gifts of Nature, MUST in some way Be PAID For.
    The world is full of so-called economists who in turn are full of schemes for getting something for nothing.
    They tell us that the Govt can Spend and Spend without Taxing at all;
    that it can continue to pile up debt without ever paying it off, because
    “we owe it to ourselves.”

    ― Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson:
    The Shortest & Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics

  6. I’m just a little puzzled by this article.

    The author chose to get the opinion of former EDD Director Michael Bernick. Why the former EDD director? Bernick left his position with EDD in 2004. WTF?

    Further, Bernick was BART director up until 1999 when he landed the EDD gig.

    This, despite, being part of a federal probe into his clear violation of ethics by negotiating with BART labor while receiving contributions from labor union members. I guess you can be caught, red handed, being unethical(not to mention criminal) but, if the DA chooses not to prosecute you, then you get rewarded by a Cush job in Sacramento.

    Calmatters proclaims it is ‘non-partisan’, but I detect the stench of a single party agenda.

    PS- For those invested in Recall Newsom, do you think Sacramento will allow this?

  7. Pumping money into the system has distorted our economic markets — badly. There will be pain. The only question is do you want the pain to be felt by a small minority of people (many of whom are actually taking advantage of the system (think EDD scams)) or do you want the ENTIRE population to suffer because of high inflation rates. It would appear that Biden and his minions have elected the latter options. Hold onto your lug nuts, it’s time for an economic overhaul.

    Oh, and don’t forget, inflation hurts the poor and working class the most. The rich merely are merely forced to forego buying the 120 foot yacht — they will just have to suffer through with the 100 foot model.

    Why do people keep voting for the very people who damage them whilst pointing fingers at everyone else.

  8. “Oh, and don’t forget, inflation hurts the poor and working class the most.”

    So true.

    Inflation can be quite useful to the rich, allowing a bit of a discount on the leverage used to acquire assets pre-inflationary conditions.

    This all seems a bit by design, you know ultra low interest rates at the same time they are printing trillions. It’s a scam and the poor eat it up, because not paying rent and getting a couple grand they quickly spend isn’t making the poor rich. Walmart maybe, but not the poor.

    It amazes me how little people understand.

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