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There are currently 9.3 million open jobs across America (via, U.S. Department of Labor). Yet, more than 9 million Americans remain unemployed. The reason is simple – the government has made it too easy not to work and still be paid handsomely.
Stimulus checks and weekly $300-per week supplemental unemployment bonuses are a major reason why so many Americans remain out of work, even though ample employment opportunities remain unfilled. It’s beyond time to halt the bonuses, implement more restrictions on who can receive unemployment benefits and for how long, and encourage the more than 9 million to return to work.
Because so many unemployed people have decided to remain on the couch rather than return to the workplace, 25 states have suspended the extra $300 weekly bonuses. All 25 states that ended the weekly bonus are represented by Republican governors. The remaining half of the country that will continue with the bonuses into September are largely governed by Democrats.
Continued bonuses and unemployment checks greatly lessen the incentive to work.
The Wall Street Journal recently published a new study from their Committee to Unleash Prosperity. The results show that a family of four with two unemployed parents can live comfortably, without lifting a finger:
- In 21 states and the District of Columbia, households can receive the wage equivalent of $25 an hour in benefits with no one working.
- In 19 states, benefits are the equivalent of $100,000 a year in salary for a family of four with two unemployed parents.
- In all but two of the blue states, the $300 supplemental unemployment insurance benefit plus other welfare can pay more than the wage equivalent of a $15 minimum wage.
- In the blue states that haven’t suspended the $300 bonus, the average annual unemployment insurance benefit for a family of four with two parents out of work is more than $72,000. Median household income in the U.S. is about $68,000.
The government has done more than enough to help Americans sustain or even surpass their pre-pandemic income. Fifteen months later, it’s time for Americans to repay the favor by returning to work.