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Cutoff of jobless aid spurs no influx of workers – Washington Daily News – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-10-22 18:04:58 –

Indianapolis (AP) — Earlier this year, business leaders and Republican governors screamed persistently. Cut off $ 300 a week in federal supplements for unemployed Americans. Many then argued that they would move away from the bystanders and undertake millions of jobs that employers were desperate to meet.

Still, three months after half of the state began ending its federal payments, there was no significant influx of job seekers.

In states that have cut $ 300 checks, the workforce, that is, the number of people working or looking for a job, has grown as much as in states that maintain payments. The federal aid ended nationwide on September 6, along with two unemployment assistance programs that served gig workers and long-term unemployed. Still, America’s overall workforce actually shrank that month.

Fiona Craig, managing director of the JP Morgan Chase Institute, used JP Morgan’s bank account data to investigate the issue. “The work-inhibiting effect was clearly small.”

Labor shortages have lasted longer than many economists expected, deepening the mystery at the heart of the employment market. Companies are keen to add workers and are posting a record number of available jobs. The unemployment rate remains rising. The economy still has 5 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic. However, employment growth slowed in August and September.

In North Carolina, the unemployment rate has not risen since September 2020. The unemployment rate at that time was 7.3%. Since then, it has decreased for 12 months. The state unemployment rate in September was 4.2%.

In August, the latest month when county-level unemployment data was available, Beaufort County had an unemployment rate of 4.5%. It was 4.6% in July 2021 and 5.8% in August 2020.

Martin Johnson, director of economic development in Beaufort County, gave an optimistic view of the county’s unemployment situation at this week’s Economic Development Advisory Board.

“States and regions are doing better than the historically typical United States,” Johnson said.

However, many companies in Beaufort County are struggling to fill their positions. Authorities point out that as unemployment declines, so does the workforce that has closed or shrunk local businesses, especially during pandemics, and is now returning to normal.

“We need skilled people,” Johnson said. (Beaufort County Community College) We offer free tuition for all kinds of classes they have. Work part-time and take courses part-time. But we definitely need people. “

According to an analysis of state-by-state data by AP News, the 25-state workforce that maintained $ 300 payments actually cut off between May and September, according to data released Friday. Slightly increased than. Early payments, most of them in June. In addition to regular state unemployment assistance, a $ 300 weekly federal check meant that many unemployed people received more benefits than they had earned from their previous jobs.

A previous study by Arindrajit Dube, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a few colleagues found a slight increase in unemployed employment in states that cut off the $ 300 federal payment. But it also turned out that it didn’t attract more people from the bystanders to look for a job.

Economists point out a variety of factors that are likely to prevent millions of former recipients of federal unemployment assistance from returning to the workforce. For example, many Americans in public work are still afraid to get COVID-19. Some families lack childcare.

Others, such as Rachel Montgomery of Anderson, Indiana, have come to value the opportunity to spend more time with their families and feel that they are financially successful, at least for now. Montgomery, a 37-year-old mother, said she became much more “capricious” about where she was willing to work after losing her catering job last year. Losing $ 300 a week in federal payments didn’t change her mind. She will receive regular state unemployment assistance for a few more weeks.

“Who would have to physically go back to work if I stayed home with my kids and family like this?” She said. “When I was looking, I told myself that when I knew I was eligible to do certain things, I wouldn’t sacrifice wages or flexibility to work remotely. But that means it takes time to find that kind of job. “

Indeed, the pandemic seems to have caused a reassessment of priorities, with some deciding to spend more time with their families, others sticking to working remotely and getting more flexibility. There is also.

Some former beneficiaries, especially the elderly and wealthy, have decided to retire earlier than planned. Fed officials estimate that up to two million people have retired since then, as Americans’ overall home prices and equity portfolio have skyrocketed since the pandemic. I am.

Also, after receiving three stimulus checks in 18 months and, in some cases, federal unemployment assistance, most households have a larger cash cushion than before the pandemic. JPMorgan’s Greig and her colleagues have found in a study that the median bank balances of the poorest quarter households have skyrocketed by 70% since the COVID hit. As a result, some people are taking the time to consider their options before rushing back to the job market.

Cutoff of jobless aid spurs no influx of workers – Washington Daily News Source link Cutoff of jobless aid spurs no influx of workers – Washington Daily News

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