Tennessee stands to lose out on $485 million for local economies after Gov. Lee cancels federal assistance, report finds

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WKRN) – Tennessee is set to lose nearly half a billion dollars to the local economy, according to the U.S. Joint Economic Committee.

This comes after Governor Bill Lee announced the state will be retiring from federal unemployment pandemic aid on July 3rd.

Tennessee is one of 24 states to cut federal benefits.

“If we have 250,000 vacancies in the state and people pay to stay home, that has to change,” Lee said.

The governor sticks to his decision, End services early Loss of $ 485 million in local economy benefits in the state.

“We believe this decision will actually improve our economic recovery and generate revenue for the state,” said Lee.

Davidson County’s Democratic Senator Heidi Campbell said the governor’s decision was simply bad economic policy.

“We’re going to lose $ 486 million in economic fuel from this decision, and of course I fully support our businesses, but businesses need customers,” said Campbell.

The country’s unemployment rate is 5.8%, while Tennessee’s unemployment rate is around 5%.

The same report says the early cancellation will result in a loss of $ 300 million for individual Tennessers.

“If the goal is to stimulate growth in a pandemic-shaken economy, government spending will be more efficient when invested in citizens,” Campbell said.

Pointing out a store in Memphis that is only open three days a week because of difficulty finding workers, Lee added that potential workers are sitting at home picking up a check.

When asked if he agreed with the store owner’s statement that people were sitting at home collecting checks, Lee appeared to contradict himself.

“The business owner said people were sitting at home collecting checks, and I said we shouldn’t be paying people [sitting] at home, ”said Lee.

Campbell said that while there are some bad actors out there, she said most Tennessee people need the help.

“One thing we really need to worry about is whether we are providing jobs to people or creating jobs that are sustainable are now really struggling to survive,” said Campbell.

In addition, the report of the Joint Economic Committee found that for every $ 1 in unemployment, it generates $ 1.60 in local spending.

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