D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is looking for ways to create new jobs as some unemployment benefits will be running out in a few months.
Bowser wants to spend $250 million in her next budget to attract new jobs to D.C. The money would go to things like job training and incentives for businesses to locate or expand in the District.
At the same time, the clock is ticking for those collecting unemployment.
“We don’t certainly have to convince anybody that the last 16 months have been difficult,” Bowser said. “We’ve received over 200,000 jobless claims and distributed more than $2 billion in federal and local unemployment benefits.”
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A big chunk of those benefits being paid out are set to expire. People receiving unemployment checks from D.C. will stop getting the additional $300 each week in federal funds Sept. 4 unless Congress extends it.
D.C. recipients also may be required to start looking for work this summer. The waiver for the job search requirement is set to expire with the state of emergency July 25. If Bowser asks to extend the emergency, the job search waiver could be extended as well.
Before the pandemic, the District’s unemployment rate was 5.4 percent. It’s peak during the pandemic was just over 11 percent. Most recent data has it back down to 7.5 percent.
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As part of her budget, Bowser is proposing tens of millions of dollars to create a high-tech corridor in the golden triangle area near the White House and millions more for tuition assistance and apprenticeships.