“The number of workers paid benefits through regular state programs fell 13.8% by the week ended June 12 from mid-May—when many governors announced changes…”
The Wall Street Journal reported what we all knew would happen: people have returned to work in states ending federal benefits.
We have seen many jobs open up as the economy bursts open after a year of COVID shutdowns. The labor participation rate remains low, and the unemployment rate has not budged much.
It does not take an economist to figure out why. When you’re on the government payroll, why bother going to work?
WSJ concentrated on Missouri, which cut off the benefits on June 12:
The number of workers paid benefits through regular state programs fell 13.8% by the week ended June 12 from mid-May—when many governors announced changes—in states saying that benefits would end in June, according to an analysis by Jefferies LLC economists. That compares with a 10% decline in states ending benefits in July, and a 5.7% decrease in states ending benefits in September. Workers on state programs would lose the $300 weekly federal enhancement but could continuing receiving the state benefits.
Jefferies also found somewhat larger decreases in the number of people receiving benefits through pandemic programs in states curtailing benefits, though the data lags behind by an additional week. In many cases, those recipients will be cut off entirely when their state ends participation in the federal programs.
Missouri’s unemployment rate sat at 12.5% in April 2020. It fell under 5% by the fall of 2020. It is now at 4.2%,
Midas Hospitality has 44 locations in America. It held job fairs, but hardly anyone showed up until Missouri ended the benefits. It is still slow in other states.
However, the Element St. Louis Midtown hotel had 11 openings. It took no time to find employees. They all showed up on their first day.
Does this news shock anyone? It is no wonder the story has not exploded all over the media because the leftists exploded when 22 states decided to end the COVID pandemic benefits.
Oh, wait. The New York Times spun the story in the negative but failed: Where Jobless Benefits Were Cut, Jobs Are Still Hard to Fill.
I do not see the numbers WSJ presented in the NYT article. I’m not surprised because it goes against the narrative of the world ending when the benefits end. No one should expect everything to turn around immediately. There is never instant gratification. It will take time. Plus, not everyone can return right away due to childcare and COVID fears.
The New York Times mentions wages, but quite a few companies embraced the $15 an hour to entice people to work. Some markets have too much competition, which can slow hiring.
Blake Day is president of Shick Esteve. The Kansas City-based company manufactures “equipment to move flour and other ingredients via pneumatic tubes through industrial bakeries.” The industry is competitive, which makes it hard to fill the openings:
He said he isn’t sure if the unemployment benefit specifically is slowing hiring because all of the jobs at the plant pay more than $15 an hour. At the same time, he said, it seems like all manufacturers are going after the same workers.
Mr. Day recently noticed a sign hanging outside a corrugated-packaging plant owned by International Paper Co. that sits next to his plant seeking new hires and offering a starting wage of $18.91 an hour.
“Big and bold,” he said of the sign. “Most of our people make more than that, but you can see the competition is out there.”
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