What’s next for jobless benefits in Arizona

The $300 supplement for jobless people in Arizona came to an end this week. People will go back to receiving $240 a week max. Governor Ducey made this announcement in May but also offered people who return to full-time work a $2000 bonus and half that for part-timers.

There will also be changes to unemployment next year after the Legislature approved a bipartisan bill that will increase weekly benefits to $320 a week effective July 2022. We talked with Dave Wells, Ph.D., a Research Director at Grand Canyon Institute. Wells said Arizona has not changed the jobless cap for about 17 years.

He talked with us about the logistics of that and how it is only $5 more than Mississippi. He explains the bill in the legislature, and its plan to increase the benefits. It will come into effect in July. Arizona will be one of the better states with jobless benefits. Wells said it will help a lot. He also talked about the state’s unemployment insurance.

He explains how this is all funded. Employers pay a tax on behalf of their employees, he said. He said the tax is “relatively modest”. He explains what the bill in the legislature will do to these numbers.

He also discusses the prohibition about increasing benefits in a benefit year. He said they are working with all parties in the legislature to fix it.

Grand Canyon Institute has done a lot of studying on unemployment and the economy in Arizona. Wells compares what they were seeing before and what they will see now.

He said people will go from getting about $960 a month, but now you will be able to get about $1280 a month. This amount of money would be equal to working about four days a week, 5 hours a day at $16 an hour. He said this will help families get through those hard times a little bit easier.

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Dave Wells, Ph.D., Research Director at Grand Canyon Institute

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