Many states are considering cutting special federal benefits and withdrawing the $300-a-week federal assistance in order to solve a major labor shortage in the country and stop incentivizing people to stay home. Georgia has become one of the latest states to join Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, South Carolina, and Alabama, in cutting unemployment benefits and pushing more people to go back to work.
Mally Blount, a spokesperson for Gov. Brian Kemp, said that the governor and labor commissioner Mark Butler are expected to discuss a major reduction in some federal programs in the coming days. Gov. Kemp states that Butler will do more to match employees with job seekers and encourage more Georgians to return to the workforce. While they could look at decreasing the amount of money someone can earn, the programs can still qualify and support citizens who are working reduced hours.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce also called for the suspension of unemployment benefits in order to solve a labor shortage in the nation. President Joe Biden recently shared April’s weak jobs report and indicated that hiring had slowed down dramatically throughout the month. Payrolls only increased by 266,000 jobs, well below the nearly 1 million jobs that economists expected.
While Biden said he did not believe government benefits were hindering a return to work, expert analyses from the U.S Bureau of Labor statistics show that those who made $32,000 before COVID-19 are now making more in benefits staying at home and collecting than if they were to go back to work. States with the highest unemployment rates have been Democrat states. Massachusetts currently has the highest combined benefits with a max of $855 per week.
“The average U.S. salary for an individual in 2019 was $31,133. This means the average Americans could earn more money in coronavirus-era benefits instead of going back to work,” the report reads.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce has also pleaded for the suspension of unemployment benefits, adding that 25,000 Georgians filed for new unemployment claims in the week ended May 1. They wrote that businesses were not closing down because of COVID-19, but because they cannot find enough workers to support full-scale operations. They have to turn down orders, raise prices, and even close permanently.
“Our job creators are doing their part. They are raising wages, offering incentives, competitive benefits, shift flexibility, and work-from-home options when possible. In addition, job fairs are popping up on every corner. The truth is that there has never been a better time to enter the workforce than today,” the Chamber of Commerce wrote.
They asked state officials to suspend additional federal unemployment benefits and to direct the funds to a statewide job signing bonus program or other back-to-work initiatives. They also asked to direct federal funds for re-training and certification programs, as well as addressing childcare benefit needs.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has also stated his intention to refuse the benefits, telling Fox News it is about as “close to socialism that I’ve seen.” He said there are help-wanted signs everywhere and that they get calls and letters from all sorts of businesses looking for people to work.
“People won’t come to work because they’re getting as much money or more in some cases by staying home. It’s a counterproductive policy and I’m afraid what the Biden administration is doing is that they’re telling everybody that the virus is still rampant and still in great danger. Everybody has to stay home. That’s not true. Go get a job, get back to work. That’s how you build an economy and a family and everything else. The Biden proposals are totally underproductive, killing incentive, and it puts us right on the road to socialism. We’ve got to stand up and fight against this,” McMaster said.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey joined Gov. McMaster in citing labor shortages and has passed an order to put an end to additional $300 weekly payments and an extension of benefits effective June 19.
The states will continue to provide regular unemployment insurance benefits to anyone eligible through state code but will put an end to federal pandemic-related unemployment benefits programs.
Schools and businesses are being reopened and the radical left wants to push payments that discourage people from returning to work. The ability to recover from the pandemic depends on the workforce that is being presented.
The Biden Administration has already killed 11,000 jobs by canceling the Keystone XL project. It’s no wonder that their job reports fell short of expectations. Small businesses can’t hire people because the government is having them not go back to work. But that’s the agenda they’d like to push.