Gov. Kristi Noem and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation announced Wednesday that the state will stop participating in three federal unemployment benefit programs related to the coronavirus pandemic.
South Dakota will continue to pay regular state unemployment claims, but participation in the three federal programs – Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – will cease the week ending June 26, according to a Wednesday press release announcing the decision.
“Businesses across the state continue to say they would grow and expand, if it wasn’t for the lack of workers. Help wanted signs line our streets,” state secretary of labor and regulation Marcia Hultman said in Wednesday's press release. “South Dakota is, and has been, ‘Open for Business.’ Ending these programs is a necessary step towards recovery, growth, and getting people back to work.”
After being the only state to decline last fall's Lost Wages Assistance supplement, South Dakota elected to participate in three federal unemployment programs related to the pandemic: PEUC, which reached residents who passed their 26 weeks of state unemployment benefits; FPUC, under which South Dakota issues weekly $300 supplements to all unemployment claimants "regardless of the program under which they are being paid" and PUA, which "provides benefits to the self-employed, the underemployed, independent contractors, and individuals who have been unable to work due to health or COVID-19-related reasons," per Wednesday's release.
“DLR’s online jobs database SDWORKS has averaged over 23,000 job openings daily,” Hultman said in Wednesday's release. “Our Job Service offices are open and ready to help and support those returning to the workforce, in need of additional skills or training, or who need an extra hand in overcoming barriers.”