Federal unemployment benefits ended over the holiday weekend, raising questions about how the payments’ expiration will affect the job market and whether Congress will renew the benefits.
Congress passed the $300 weekly unemployment payments as a remedy to joblessness during the COVID pandemic when government restrictions forced the layoffs of millions of Americans, but critics have since said the federal benefits are contributing to an economic quandary: elevated unemployment alongside widespread job availability.
Small business owners are continuing to have problems attracting new workers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and are trying to entice them with new incentives, a new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows.
“Small businesses are bearing the brunt of the current worker shortage,” said Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy at the Chamber. “Many have given up on actively recruiting new workers as it is too hard to find skilled and experienced workers for their open positions.”
Republicans have argued for months that federal unemployment benefits are keeping Americans from going back to work, and a new survey seems to support that claim.
The survey from Morning Consult released Wednesday found that 1.8 million Americans have turned down jobs even though they were unemployed saying, “I receive enough unemployment benefits without having to work.”
Gov. Brian Kemp announced Thursday during an interview on Fox News that Georgia will reject the federal government’s $300 per week enhanced unemployment benefits.
“What I’m seeing on the ground here is that every small business owner and the workers that are currently working, they need more people. It is hurting our productivity, not only in Georgia, but across the country,” Kemp told host Dana Perino.