Extended unemployment benefits end Saturday

Posted at 4:57 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 20:08:50-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Thousands of San Diegans will see their extended unemployment benefits disappear Saturday, meaning they are out at least $300 per week.

That means the only people who will still receive unemployment come next week will be on the standard 26 weeks in the state of California, which pays up to $450 per week.

When the pandemic hit, the federal government passed a stimulus package that extended unemployment and boosted weekly payments by $600. That bonus was later reduced to $300 per week.

As the economy reopened, retail, restaurant and hotel owners said the extra unemployment was dissuading workers from coming back. Many workers were earning more staying home.

At Chula Vista's Shake and Muddle restaurant, prospective employees are accepting jobs and then not showing up for their first day, said Steven Hill, V.P. of Mountain West Real Estate, which owns the eatery. He believes the expiration of the extended benefits will solve the issue.

"I think it's going to have a huge impact, we're going to get an influx of people actually showing up and now the game changes," he said. "Now we have a chance to hire the most talented."

But whether that actually happens is unclear. The San Diego Workforce Partnership is not reporting a spike in demand for its services.

"I think a lot of that is directly related to issues like child care and just the worker safety issue with the pandemic that we continue to battle with," CEO Peter Callstrom said.

Some restaurants have increased hourly wages and offered hiring bonuses, but it's unclear if those will remain after Saturday. Meanwhile, San Diego County's unemployment rate remains at 6.9 percent.