More than 400,000 out-of-work Americans are poised to lose their unemployment benefits this weekend as eight states prematurely drop out of a pandemic relief program that boosted jobless aid by $300 a week.

Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming will terminate the extra unemployment benefits on June 19, a move the states’ Republican governors contend will help businesses struggling to hire workers. About 440,000 workers will lose their benefits, according to one analysis conducted by the Century Foundation, a left-leaning think tank.

Four states – Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi and Missouri – officially ended the assistance last week, and 14 others are slated to do so later this summer. Just one, Louisiana, is led by a Democratic governor.

Critics argue that other factors, such as a lack of child care, are the reason for lackluster hiring and have said that opting out of the relief program before it’s officially slated to end on Sept. 6 will hurt unemployed Americans, leaving them with no income as they search for a new job.

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