Ending unemployment benefit early to fill jobs didn’t work, says state rep

Sep 10, 2021, 3:47 PM | Updated: Sep 12, 2021, 10:45 am

Utah ranked one of the worst states to work in....

Utah ranked one of the worst states to work in. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s governor ended the federal pandemic unemployment benefit of $300 a week in June to move laid-off Utah workers into open jobs, but that didn’t pan out, says a state lawmaker.

Job creation in the country fell flat in August. About 235,000 jobs were filled but expectations were for 720,000 new hires. 

But the US jobless rate fell from 5.4% to 5.2%. And Utah is the envy of all states with an unemployment rate of 2.6% in August, second only to Nebraska at 2.5%.

Banker and lawmaker weighs in on end of unemployment benefit

Utah state Rep. Robert Spendlove, who is the Economic and Public Policy officer at Zions Bank, joined Inside Sources to break down what’s going on with the economy nationally and statewide.

Spendlove said 235,000 jobs created in a normal month would be excellent, but the US is still 5 million jobs down from its pre-pandemic peak.

He said a few weeks ago he started to see early indicators of an economic slump, such as in-person dining and airline reservations dropping. The national jobs report Friday confirmed those suspicions.

‘Back to normal’

Congress’ historic expansion of the expanded unemployment benefit expired nationwide last weekend.

Laid-off Utahns lost their weekly $300 federal pandemic-unemployment benefit on June 26. 

“This is the natural next step in getting the state and people’s lives back to normal,” Gov. Spencer Cox said in May while announcing the end to the $300 unemployment benefit.

“There was a theory that as those enhanced unemployment benefits ended, that it would pull more people back into the labor force. What’s interesting is at least up till this point, we haven’t seen clear signs of that. So the states that didn’t end the unemployment insurance early and the states that did are seeing similar employment patterns,” Spendlove said.

Child care during the pandemic

Spendlove said data showed women re-entering the work force in spring but that trend reversed itself in August.

“We saw a very low number. Only about 20% of the people coming into the labor force were women. And so we continue to see that struggle, and I think that’s directly tied to childcare,” he said.


Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Inside Sources

a person holds a smartphone, is the us moving away from organized religion?...

Isabella Sandston

LISTEN: Why we’re turning to politics for our lost worship

Is a shift away from organized religion feeding into the loss of community amongst Americans?

17 days ago

A green and brown sign hangs on a brick wall. It reads "The future of the world is in this classroo...

Mariah Maynes

Study looks into Utah voters’ opinions on curriculum transparency in schools

A Sutherland Institute study found that a majority of Utah voters support curriculum transparency. However, fewer of them support mandating it with legislation. 

26 days ago

Mitt Romney shown...

Sam Herrera

LISTEN: Romney talks budget, wildfires and TikTok

Sen. Mitt Romney says Democrats and Republicans needed to work together to budget and build legislation that will actually pass.

1 month ago

Utah Rep. John Curtis discusses how a “stunt” by TikTok to influence House lawmakers just anger...

KSL NewsRadio

TikTok ‘stunt’ backfires as House lawmakers push to change company ownership

Utah Rep. John Curtis discusses how a “stunt” by TikTok to influence House lawmakers just angered them.

1 month ago


Curt Gresseth

Dow closes down more than 500 points

The Dow dropped more than 750 points before closing down 525 points as inflation numbers rose higher than economists were anticipating.

2 months ago

cellphone schools...

Curt Gresseth

Governor’s message to students: ‘hang up and learn’

Gov. Spencer Cox wants cellphones to be banned in Utah schools during instruction time.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

Ending unemployment benefit early to fill jobs didn’t work, says state rep