With 10 million Americans unemployed, logic would seem to dictate that businesses would have no problem hiring workers as the economy continues to reopen.
However, this isn’t happening.
Quite simply, government unemployment benefits are too tempting, making it nearly impossible to attract workers back into the workforce.
Workers would make less money being employed in many industries than they are making from unemployment benefits that were extended because of the pandemic.
Those benefits can rise as high as $700 a week in some states.
Small businesses in particular are being hurt because they don’t have the budget to drastically raise wages and add benefits to attract more employees.
The Associated Press reported, “The National Federation of Independent Business found in a March survey of its own members that 42% had job openings they couldn’t fill. Owners cited higher unemployment benefits as one factor. And a study released last month by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that a 10% increase in unemployment benefits during the pandemic led to a 3.6% drop in job applications.”
And this research doesn’t even factor in how many people apply for jobs but then don’t show up for interviews because they need to show that they attempted to apply for a job to continue receiving their benefits.
These benefits may have been justified early in the pandemic during the harshest lockdowns, but the economy has been improving over the past several months and now those benefits are obsolete.
This is an example of another well-intentioned government policy that is a failure at best, and at worst it is a deliberate effort to keep people beholden to the government.
According to TrendingEconomics.com, GDP is has grown 4.3% this year, unemployment has dropped to 6%, the stock market is booming, and business and consumer confidence continue to rise.
These factors show that unemployment benefits are a hindrance to a full recovery. Imagine how much more growth there would be in the economy now if it weren’t for government policies such as unemployment benefits that are holding the economy from fully snapping back to life.
Of course, there are subsidiary factors for workers not wanting to seriously look for work, such as fear of contracting the virus and schools not being reopened.
Parents need to be home to supervise their kids who are going to school virtually instead of in person.
This is yet another reason why 100% of schools need to be reopened in this country.
Selfish teachers’ unions refuse to budge on the issue and won’t return to work despite scientific data that has shown over and over again that school-age kids don’t typically contract or spread the virus at high rates.
There is simply no excuse for not reopening schools.
And there is also no excuse for continuing to offer such high unemployment rates.
As COVID cases continue to decline and the number of vaccinated Americans continues to rise, it is time for the government to get out of the way and let Americans return to work.
But of course, once government digs its claws into economic life, they very rarely let go.
Or, as Ronald Regan once warned: “The closest thing to eternity on earth is a government-run program.”