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Kentucky to offer bonus or incentive to get people back to work, governor says

Published: Jun. 17, 2021 at 1:38 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WXIX) - On Thursday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the state is working on a back-to-work bonus or incentive to encourage people to get off unemployment.

For now, he says the extra $300 pandemic unemployment insurance will stay.

“So what we are trying to do is thread the needle. We need people to get off pandemic unemployment before it would run out in September or before any decision we make before then. At the same time, those that are having childcare issues, we don’t want to lose those dollars that are helping them and flowing through the economy. Our aim is to try to thread that needle and to do it right. Not red or blue, just right,” Beshear said.

Ohio and Indiana have both announced the end of the extra $300 weekly pandemic unemployment insurance.

Beshear says the extra $300 put $34 million into the state’s economy a week and he doesn’t want to end it too quickly.

The governor said he will announce the bonus or incentive next week.

It’s welcome news for some Northern Kentucky businesses.

The Bean Haus Bakery and Cafe on Main Street usually stays open through the evening, but owner Tim Eversole says he’s forced to close the shop early due to a shortage of workers.

“During COVID, while we were slower, we had enough staff to handle it. Now that it’s opened back up, we just don’t have the staff to handle the work load,” he said. “We started this past Monday, we had to switch our hours, and we’re on;y open until 4 p.m. seven-days-a-week when this location is usually open until 9 [p.m.]”

Eversole says he needs to fill 29 positions at three different loctaions.

To attract more employees, he’s even raised the wages from $8/hour to $10/hour plus tips, but so far it hasn’t been enough.

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