Blog , Finance

Jobs but No Workers: How Unemployment Benefits are Keeping Workers on the Sidelines

Posted on Tuesday, May 25, 2021
by AMAC, Bob Carlstrom

As America recovers from the COVID19 pandemic, more people are getting vaccinated, businesses are opening back up to full capacity, kids are starting to return to school, and people are getting back to work. Yet the pace of our recovery has been a mixed bag of results, with some states rebounding well and others not so much. When looking at the country as a whole, however, we find an activist federal government whose so-called benevolent policies are doing more harm than good.

That’s because the government’s promise of payouts, and then the extension of those payouts, holds people back from meeting their full potential and withholds the honor of human dignity, hard work, and responsibility that comes from a civilized free market based society. On the contrary, just as our economy was bouncing back from the pandemic, the Biden White House and Congressional Democrats wanted to keep the federal spigot flowing to the detriment of both small businesses and workers themselves. If Democrat bureaucrats ventured out to Main Street, they would hear how there are plenty of jobs available, but a shortage of labor and massive unemployment benefits (now 15 months in) are keeping people out of work and making it that much harder for small businesses, and indeed our nation, to fully recover. And the numbers don’t lie.

A recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business found that 42% of business owners had job openings that couldn’t be filled, a record high. Of those businesses hiring or trying to hire, ninety-one percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill, with higher unemployment benefits being a major contributing factor. This is a huge obstacle to growing small businesses in America, the backbone of our economy.

The ability of small businesses to find workers right now is one of the biggest hurdles they face, and the labor market shift brought on by the pandemic has only exacerbated those challenges. It’s no wonder that small business confidence was a record low 43% last quarter and is only up slightly to 45%.

Today, America’s national unemployment rate stands at 6.1%, according to the Department of Labor’s monthly jobs report, which also posted a much lower than expected jobs created number that month (266,000 jobs created when 750,000 was expected).

That’s why Americans woke up to headlines this month like CNBC’s “Small businesses struggle to find workers as pandemic eases,” this from the AP “Where are the workers? Small businesses struggle to fill jobs,” and this from a local ABC news affiliate “Florida business owners struggle to find workers: ‘We shouldn’t be competing with the government.’”

In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis has done an exceptional job leading the state, keeping the economy as open as it could be, and giving people and small businesses hope in the process. But even with the Sunshine State’s 4.7% unemployment rate that is crushing the national average and an ‘open for business’ economy, the federal government is creating more problems for small business owners when it should be offering solutions or staying out of the way and letting the free market work.

“It’s so busy but now I don’t have the people to wait on them,” John Horne, owner of four Anna Maria Oyster Bars in Bradenton, FL, told WFTS News/ABC Tampa Bay. “You’re competing with the government, that’s not who we should be competing with for jobs,” he said.


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2 years ago

I think this is a strategy to boost minimum wages. Seems to be working.

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