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Protesters demand senators support the continuation of unemployment benefits on July 16, 2020 in Miami Springs, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

More than a dozen Republican-led states have announced they are terminating their involvement in federal pandemic-related unemployment programs early.

Driving the news: Many of the states' governors cited worker shortages. But some experts say it's the job climate, including pandemic-era factors, and not unemployment benefits that is determining when and how people return to work.

  • The federal assistance programs, which include extra $300-a-week payments, are set to expire on Sept. 6.
  • The pandemic-era programs also offer unemployment to those typically ineligible, including gig workers.

The states that have announced an end to the federal COVID-related benefits include:

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Courtenay Brown: The floodgates are open. While policymakers and economists spar over whether generous jobless benefits are keeping would-be workers at home, more and more states are moving ahead to cut them off.

Go deeper: States enter the unemployment fray

Go deeper

Workers quit at historic clip

Data: BLS, FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

Demand for labor seems to be getting stronger, and workers are taking advantage by quitting.

Why it matters: Businesses are scrambling to fill job openings as they try to catch up with booming demand.

3 hours ago - Health

Axios AM Deep Dive: Covid forever

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It was 563 days ago that the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by healthcare reporter Caitlin Owens, looks at our Covid future.

Federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for NYC teachers

Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in Brooklyn on Sept. 13. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

A federal appeals court judge on Friday temporarily blocked New York City schools from enforcing a vaccine mandate for school employees, days before it was set to take effect, AP reports.

Driving the news: The vaccine mandate was set to begin on Monday, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the nation's largest school system.