By HOLLY RAMER Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire will end its participation in all pandemic-related federal unemployment compensation programs next month but will offer “summer stipends” totaling $10 million to encourage people to find jobs, Gov. Chris Sununu said Tuesday.

About 35,000 people are currently collecting unemployment benefits, all of whom are getting $300 per week supplemental payments either from the state or a federal program created during the pandemic. Those extra payments will end June 19 now that the unemployment rate has dropped and given the abundance of available jobs, Sununu said.

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The state was among the first to expand eligibility for unemployment benefits when the pandemic first struck. Between March and April 2020, its unemployment rate jumped from 2.7% to over 16% but as of this month, was back down to 2.8%.

“We’re very proud of that, we have a very robust economy and a lot of workforce opportunity, and wages are far and away higher than anything we’ve ever seen,” Sununu said. “There are tens of thousands of jobs — high paying jobs — and they’re available today.”

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Starting Tuesday, unemployed workers who find full-time jobs will get $1,000 bonuses after completing eight weeks of work, and part-time workers will get $500 until the $10 million fund is depleted. The stipends will be available for those earning $25 or less per hour.

Connecticut is offering a similar incentive, though it is maintaining the $300 supplemental payments for those who remain on employment.

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