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2021-09-06 04:00:05

Pandemic unemployment benefits are ending nationwide the first weekend in September, but don't expect to see millions of available jobs to be filled quickly.

At least 7.5 million people are projected to lose their pandemic unemployment compensation in the 26 states that are still paying benefits, according to The Century Foundation. That flood of potential new hires comes at a time when job openings are at a record high, and businesses are boosting wages, offering bonuses and providing other incentives to lure workers.

So far, however, employment hasn't grown substantially faster in the states that terminated benefits early, studies and government data have found.

The enhanced jobless payments aren't the only reason why Americans may be reluctant to return to work, experts say. Other factors include continued health concerns, trouble finding child care and an increased interest in switching careers. Also, it may take time for the impact of the benefits' withdrawal to become clear.

The country got an early look at the effect of ceasing this generous lifeline after roughly two dozen states opted to stop at least one of the federal unemployment benefits programs in June and July. The governors -- all Republicans but one -- argued that the move would help alleviate the worker shortage that businesses in their states were facing.

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