Unemployment benefits have become a clue in the back-to-work debate in the US

Frank Phillips, the owner of several coffee franchises based in Paulding, Georgia, says he has received 200 job applications to open a new location. For the most recent opening in March, he had 35.

One reason he blamed was the unemployment benefits collected by laid off workers during the pandemic, sweetened by a top-up from the federal government that now adds $ 300 a week to the checks they receive from the states.

“There’s a lot of competition in the market when the federal government plays the toy,” Phillips said. “We need to get rid of the federal government so we can do business.”

As states have disappeared from the lockdown and the economy has recovered, businesses, especially those in the entertainment and hospitality business, are reporting that they are not finding enough workers to meet the growing demand. .

Some of the larger companies including Walmart, McDonald’s and Chipotle Attempts have been made to entice workers with incentives such as getting bonuses and wage increases, while some small business owners say they are forced to fill in more innovation themselves. or reduction of operation.

Some fear that a shortage of ready workers could prevent businesses from recovering from the pandemic disease and benefit from strong demand. Conservatives say the Biden administration’s increase in a $ 300-a-week increase in existing unemployment insurance benefits through September would have prompted some workers to stay home instead. to find a new job.

Their worries increased unexpectedly stall to do work in April, even as employers reported multiple record job openings to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Covid crisis has forced the federal government to retaliate EXPANDED the safety net, from managing the launch of vaccines to spending trillions of dollars on stimulus. Republicans say it’s time to go back to dialing, starting with unemployment insurance.

In an attempt to get people back to work, more than 20 Republican governors have moved to eliminate top-up federal unemployment insurance schemes in their state before their jobs end. .

More than half of Americans support cutting unemployment benefits, a poll to find Quinnipiac University. Although workers and labor advocates say what the economy really needs are safer, higher-paying jobs, and economists say the focus is on the benefits of unemployment. work without looking at the real reasons many people have yet to return to work.

A survey of the 2,000 people working in restaurant kitchens promoted by firming staffing Mis en Place found 26 percent permanently left the industry. Some speak of long hours and relatively low pay.

A third of workers surveyed by Mise en Place said they plan to return but have not yet for various reasons. Some said they were still looking for the right moment or were worried about contracting Covid-19. Only 6 percent cited unemployment benefits and stimulus checks.

Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco last summer found that the federal bonus, which was $ 600, would prevent some unemployed employees from accepting a new job. the now $ 300 top-up benefit is likely to have little impact on businesses ’ability to find workers, they found.

It’s unclear how successful it will be to cut the additional benefits of returning to work for people, according to Josh Bivens, director of research at the unreliable Economic Policy Institute.

“It’s become even less desirable jobs because of the pandemic,” Bivens said. “If someone has to show up at a fairly crowded restaurant, they probably don’t feel very much about that, and I think that makes sense.”

States where federal unemployment benefits have been cut have seen temporary job search moves after initial notice, according to employment sites that Actually. However, that search activity collapsed after several days.

Activists and some economists say benefits may be just one of the factors workers consider before working.

“There are people who earn more from unemployment than if they took a job, but I think it’s a gamble to be put which is the same reason some businesses have a hard time getting it,” said AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist for True. “We’re still in a pandemic, workers are still worried about the state of public health.”

Konkel said child care responsibilities could be a much more prevalent factor for women, citing both the large number of workers who left the workforce during the pandemic and staff in the entertainment and hospitality businesses.

Schools that are returning to indoor teaching are teaching for summer and other facilities including summer camps and day care centers operating in much smaller capacities.

Reports of labor shortages are largely hidden in the entertainment and hospitality sector, according to economists. In other fields such as construction, arts, entertainment and recreation, job seekers are more likely to have open positions of two to one, according to BLS data.

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