New polling data revealed that over 1.8 million Americans have rejected job offers, instead preferring to remain on unemployment insurance.
Morning Consult issued a survey at the end of June, discovering that 13%, or one in every eight Americans, reported having refused job offers even though they were unemployed because they “receive enough money… without having to work.” Other respondents cited reasons such as concerns about COVID-19, child care obligations, and lack of job flexibility as factors that lowered their willingness to take on new positions.
At the time the survey was taken, it’s estimated that 14.1 million adults were on the government unemployment payroll.
President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus spending package, the American Rescue Plan, allotted funding by the federal government to boost unemployment checks by $300 per week, a policy that’s been harshly criticized for its contribution to slowing labor market recovery. Over half the country, 26 states led by Republicans in all but one instance have turned down the program as a result.
Personal finance company WalletHub identified the top states experiencing labor market recovery were led by Republicans in 9 out of 10 of the leading spots. By contrast, the ten states with the slowest labor recovery are all run by Democrats.
Another report identifies other incentives that Democrats are doling out on the taxpayer’s dime to keep their constituents from working. Democrat led states are offering welfare packages worth the “equivalent to $100,000 a year” for households with two unemployed adults and two dependents. Even discounting existing benefit programs such as food stamps or rental assistance, it’s reported that because the unemployment benefits aren’t taxed as income, the worth of the federally enhanced unemployment is currently far more lucrative than the national median household income.
The semiannual report to Congress by The Federal Reserve even implicated the costly program as a cause ruining the labor market, though they stopped short of calling on policymakers to cut it off.
Businesses have responded by offing large sign-on bonuses and retention bonuses, as well as wage hikes for normally low-compensating service workers. The job listing website Indeed reported in June that jobs with perks jumped by 4.1% in that month alone, more than double the rate seen in 2020 of that same month.
Author: Courtney Carter