SC Chamber, NFIB, SC Retail Association & SCRLA Send Letter to Delegation Regarding Unemployment Benefits

Staff Report

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

Coronavirus Aid, Response, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, individuals who became unemployed due to COVID-19 received $600 per week from the federal government in addition to whatever amount they may normally receive from the state unemployment system. That provision expired last week, and negotiations are ongoing about extending or modifying these benefits.

We’ve heard from businesses that the extra-large benefit has lessened the incentive for employees to return to work when a business reopens because the amount exceeds many individuals’ prior weekly earnings. Further illustrating that point, in a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance last month, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that if the temporary increase of $600 per week in unemployment benefits is extended another six months, five out of six (83%) individuals will make more on unemployment than they do in their job.

Accordingly, on Monday this week, the SC Chamber, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) SC, the SC Retail Association, and the SC Restaurant and Lodging Association (SCRLA) sent a letter to the South Carolina Federal Legislative Delegation asking members to “support a measured approach in the next stimulus package that provides a safety net, but not more than a person made in their job.” You can find the full letter here.