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Ending Federal Unemployment Benefits Will Hurt Idaho's Working Families


BOISE, ID - Governor Little’s decision to end Idaho's participation in federal unemployment benefits is an example of backwards economic thinking that puts the profits of wealthy business owners ahead of the needs of regular Idahoans. This decision puts vulnerable families at risk, throws away resources that could be flowing into Idaho's economy, and prolongs our state’s economic recovery. 

"Idahoans have always had a strong work ethic, and those who are not currently working are typically doing so for important reasons" said Joe Maloney, President of the Idaho AFL-CIO. "This is a decision that should be made with the input of workers whose lives and families are being put at risk." 

Many Idahoans are currently unable to find childcare, have preexisting conditions that place them at higher risk from COVID, or are otherwise vulnerable in this already challenging year. Prematurely cutting off lifelines these families are relying on to make it through to the end of this pandemic will have no appreciable impact on employment, but will have serious impacts on vulnerable families, especially considering the soaring cost of housing in Idaho. 

In a well functioning free market economy, employers attract workers by offering good wages, competitive benefits, and ensuring a safe workplace, in order to become an employer of choice. If some Idaho corporations are having a hard time finding workers in this tight labor market, maybe they should take a harder look at what they are offering, rather than blaming the people they are trying to attract.