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Goodwill expecting more job seekers as $600 unemployment aid expires

Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 1:57 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Georgia still dishing out unprecedented numbers of unemployment benefits.

On Thursday, the state Department of Labor announced they’ve paid out more than $11 billion.

The number of people filing for unemployment is decreasing in the Peach State, but nationally, that number is still on the rise.

Lawmakers only have a week left to decide on the next coronavirus stimulus package.

Because Congress hasn’t agreed yet on their latest COVID stimulus package, you won’t be getting your $600 weekly benefit this week. Goodwill predicts that will have a big impact on the number of job seekers.

Goodwill President Jim Stiff says when benefits go down, the number of job seekers should go up.

“If the $600 extension becomes a $200 extension, or if it becomes a one-time hit of $1200, I think we’re going to have a rush of people that are saying ‘I really need to go back for my job search,’” Stiff said.

But that was far from the case at Goodwill’s latest job fair.

“We thought 500 people were going to show up. But alas, we had 50 people show up, and we’re having people trickle in to the Job Connections,” Stiff said.

Stiff believes it’s because people are still reaping the benefits of their latest unemployment checks.

“If you’re in a higher disposable income situation than you’ve ever been in, there’s a hesitation to leave that environment,” Stiff said.

But the clock has run out on those $600 weekly payouts, time is almost up for lawmakers to finalize their latest relief package.

“People have to understand this is a temporary situation,” Stiff said. “If I was a job seeker, I would be getting in line.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 8,000 more people in the CSRA were unemployed in June 2020 compared to June 2019.

The good news, Stiff says, is the jobs are out there. You just need to seek them out.

Congress has until Aug. 7 to approve the final package. If they don’t, the timeline for federal aid hangs in limbo.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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