Changes to unemployment benefits coming this weekend as hospitality industry struggles to find workers

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WLNE) — New rules for collecting unemployment benefits are set to go into effect in Rhode Island this weekend, after Governor Dan McKee signed legislation into law Friday afternoon.

While the new rules are touted as a “win-win” by state lawmakers, many local business owners disagree saying it only encourages people to stay on unemployment.

Under the new rules, residents collecting unemployment benefits are now allowed to work part-time, earning up to 150% of their weekly benefits. They can also continue to collect an additional $300 per week from the federal government’s Covid relief package.

Locally and nationally, the restaurant and hospitality industries have been struggling to find workers as state’s start to re-open.

David Levesque, the owner of Brewed Awakenings chain of coffee shops spoke to ABC 6’s Scott Cook about how the bill effects his industry.

According to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, the $300 weekly unemployment bonuses from the government will bring more than $20 million to help stimulate the state’s economy weekly.

(c) WLNE-TV // ABC 6 2021

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island