Release: South Dakota to End Federal Pandemic Unemployment Benefits

South Dakota to End Federal Pandemic Unemployment Benefits

PIERRE, SD – Today, Governor Kristi Noem and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR) announced South Dakota will terminate its participation in the federal government’s pandemic-related unemployment assistance programs.

“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,” said state Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman. “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.”

South Dakota was the only state to not apply for the federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) supplement last fall. Additionally, South Dakota did not opt into the federal Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program in December 2020.

South Dakota elected to participate in three unemployment-related programs in connection with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and Continued Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act of 2020.

  • South Dakota will no longer participate in the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which affected claimants who have exhausted their traditional 26 weeks of regular State unemployment compensation.
  • South Dakota will no longer issue supplemental $300 weekly payments to claimants under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. This payment was made to all claimants who were receiving unemployment benefits regardless of the program under which they are being paid.
  • South Dakota will no longer participate in the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. PUA currently 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.

The termination will be effective on the week ending June 26, 2021, for all three programs. South Dakota will continue to pay regular State claims. The agreement signed to initiate these programs allows South Dakota or the U.S. Department of Labor to terminate the programs upon 30 days’ written notice to the other party.

“DLR’s online jobs database SDWORKS has averaged over 23,000 job openings daily,” continued Secretary Hultman. “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.”

To search for new jobs or receive virtual employment services, visit

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6 thoughts on “Release: South Dakota to End Federal Pandemic Unemployment Benefits”

  1. I know a young couple who wouldn’t go back to work as long as the unemployment checks kept coming in. Once they quit, the couple went back to work.

    1. What do you suppose is so terrible about South Dakota’s workforce management that people don’t want to work for them? Is it just the pay?

      1. Why do you assume it is the manager/owner of a business? Perhaps some people are just lazy and would rather sit on their butts collecting welfare instead of working and being productive members of society?

  2. Awesome. The shortage of applicants has never been worse regardless of industry or skills required.

  3. With South Dakota’s unemployment rate hovering around 3.3%, this arrogant, fact-less decision by Governor Noem will have no impact whatsoever. (Isn’t 3.3% near full-employment?) If you want a temporary job for the tourist season or a menial labor one, you can find one for $12-16/hour with no benefits. But come September and you’ll see the above number remain the same if not climb slightly when the temporary jobs shut down. Bottom line, 3.3% is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many mid to higher level, well educated and experienced unemployed who have exhausted their benefits and are no longer counted. We need mid to higher level paying jobs in South Dakota. A family of four cannot pay a house payment, health insurance, utilities, etc. on the prevailing wage. (Trust me, I know.) It’s time the state focus’ their recruitment efforts on bringing high paying employers to South Dakota and not tourist/trinket shops, manufacturing plants and the like. Eliminating this safety net for the unemployed is solely a political decision that panders directly to the ultra-right wing base of the Republican party. It does little to guarantee that these low paying jobs will be filled. Bottom line, we are due for a renaissance of sorts in South Dakota akin to that during the Janklow era when Citibank and the other various banking conglomerates were lured to the state.

    1. so people should not take jobs that don’t meet their expectations?
      If they can’t support a family of four on a job they are better off refusing to work entirely?
      Wow. when I graduated from college during the recession of the seventies nobody told me I should just stay home, do nothing, and let the taxpayers support me. I took a minimum wage job instead. Eventually I went to nursing school, but
      when I graduated here in SD there were no jobs, but instead of staying home, doing nothing, and letting the taxpayers support me, I joined a whole lot of my classmates and moved to Georgia where nursing jobs were plentiful. Came back when the jobs opened up again.

      The best thing about pulling the unemployment compensation rug out from under the parasites is that they either find jobs or they leave the state for better benefits and become somebody else’s problem.

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