“Calls to cancel VirusCasedemic-era unemployment benefits grew last wk as concerns over a labor shortage gained momentum, culminating in a crescendo on Friday after a wildly disappointing NFPss report for April” — Paul Ebeling
There is an old adage that says, “if you pay people not to work they will not seek work“.
South Carolina and Montana announced plans before the NFPs report to end the jobless programs at the end of July, after wks of local reports across the country recounted how restaurants cannot fill positions.
After the jobs report Friday, the US Chamber of Commerce announced its support of stopping the extra $300 in weekly unemployment benefits, citing worker shortages, while Senator. Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced a bill to repeal the VirusCasedemic unemployment programs.
“While there are certainly people that needed access to increased unemployment benefits during the heart of this pandemic, we should not be in the business of creating lucrative government dependency that makes it more beneficial to stay unemployed rather than return to work,” Senator Marshall said in a statement Friday.
While there is no single measure for workforce shortage, increased work hrs and wages are considered some of the signs that indicate employers are struggling to fill jobs and the labor market is tightening. Both happened in April.
Average hly earnings for workers in labor and hospitality also increased to $17.88 in April, up from their pre-medical chaos low of $16.92 in July and are higher than their pre-VirusCasedemic mark of $16.90 in February 2020, according to data from the Labor Department.
LTN economist Bruce WD Barren pointed to the increase as a sign that employers are competing with the enhanced unemployment benefits, specifically the extra $300 a week that the Chamber of Commerce said “results in approximately one in four recipients taking home more in unemployment than they earned working.”
Adding, “that the wage increases in some sectors may not be strong enough. For instance, nonsupervisory workers in leisure and hospitality still make less than $21,000 a year after wage increases or about $10 an hr. And people on welfare can make more money slacking.“
Greater clarity on what is holding back workers may come with next month’s jobs report. Until then, around 16.5-M workers still depend on unemployment benefits that run through 5 September, while the economy is 8.2-M jobs short of its pre-VirusCasedemic marks. Some believe that those jobs will never come back.
Have a healthy weekend, Keep the Faith!