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New changes to Indiana's unemployment benefits begin this month

New changes to unemployment benefits may incentivize more Hoosiers to look for jobs.

Posted: Jun 2, 2021 6:48 AM
Updated: Jun 2, 2021 4:40 PM

WABASH VALLEY, (WTHI) -- As "Help Wanted" signs are posted all over the Wabash Valley, some people are continuing to choose unemployment checks over paychecks. However, this may soon change.

Recently, Governor Eric Holcomb announced a few significant changes for those seeking unemployment benefits. This comes after many people stopped looking for work because of the enhanced unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

One of those changes begins Tuesday, June 1. This will require all Hoosiers receiving unemployment benefits to be actively searching for a job. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development will require a weekly work search report from Hoosiers requesting assistance.

Additionally, the state will soon be dropping out of a federal program that provided an extra $300 in weekly payments. This will go into effect on June 19. These extra benefits have been in place for over a year when the federal government waived this requirement during the pandemic.

"This is one more aspect of the state of Indiana and other states [are doing] to try and get those people who have been on the sidelines and who have not actively sought employment to get them back in the labor force looking for work," Dr. Robert Guell, an economics professor at Indiana State University said.

As restrictions ease and more people go back to work, Guell says we could see upwards of 7-9%  growth in the next quarter. He says overall, this could significantly impact the local and statewide economy for the better.

"It basically will get us back to not only to where we were when all of this went down a year ago, but where we might have been if COVID-19 never happened," he said.

Guell says the economy will rebound quickly, but the workforce participation rate may take longer to recover.  

"I think it's probably going to be 2022 or 2023 or 2024 before we really start seeing an increase in the labor force," he said.

Additionally, unemployment rates may rise quickly, but Guell wants to emphasize this does not mean the economy is worsening. 

"People need to understand it will also raise the unemployment rate, and that's because those people who sit on the sidelines aren't counted as being unemployed," he said. "It's not as though the economy will have gotten worse if these folks are actually looking for work; it is just that they are coming back into the system."

Indiana is one of several states beginning to limit unemployment benefits. However, across the state line, Illinois is not one of the states dismissing federal unemployment benefits.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1612129

Reported Deaths: 27216
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook61543610987
DuPage1042681360
Will876561092
Lake773641061
Kane66108852
Winnebago39170545
Madison38345578
St. Clair35140571
McHenry33177317
Peoria26076363
Champaign25967184
Sangamon24718273
McLean22003208
Tazewell19833326
Rock Island17919348
Kankakee16856235
Kendall15537107
Macon14565244
LaSalle14539278
Vermilion13343190
Adams12733148
DeKalb11729129
Williamson11528160
Whiteside7944176
Jackson774389
Boone762782
Coles7404113
Ogle718087
Grundy704582
Franklin693999
Clinton683798
Knox6715166
Marion6581138
Macoupin6525100
Henry625674
Effingham612882
Jefferson6116132
Livingston574196
Woodford556191
Stephenson549789
Randolph532197
Monroe510199
Christian496380
Fulton491570
Morgan488996
Logan478474
Montgomery470476
Lee460658
Bureau429188
Perry416671
Saline414064
Fayette403459
Iroquois396973
McDonough356656
Jersey324253
Shelby317343
Crawford307930
Douglas307636
Lawrence303431
Union297347
Wayne276057
White267730
Richland264455
Hancock258834
Pike258056
Clark253538
Cass252228
Bond244824
Clay242247
Edgar237545
Ford235956
Warren227161
Carroll226537
Johnson214925
Moultrie212931
Jo Daviess207226
Washington206627
Wabash202616
Greene200939
Mason200351
Massac200144
De Witt196830
Piatt192114
Mercer191234
Cumberland179825
Menard160812
Jasper153418
Marshall135621
Hamilton129821
Brown10228
Pulaski99211
Schuyler9748
Edwards96815
Stark77227
Gallatin7557
Scott6975
Alexander68111
Henderson66114
Calhoun6452
Hardin56414
Putnam5464
Pope4945
Unassigned1812432
Out of IL60

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482