Unemployment benefits are hitting their expiration date in Republican led states across the nation…and the results are already being felt; Americans are suddenly heading back to work.
With an acute labor shortage threatening states’ economies, Republican legislatures in 22 states decided they had no choice but to take aggressive action by ENDING the benefits.
More than three-quarters of Republican led states are now planning to cut-off access to federal pandemic-relief unemployment benefits, in an effort to raise employment in their states.
This includes the $300 weekly supplemental benefit program which was set to expire in September. The states will also end access to benefits for gig workers or benefits that kick in after state benefits are exhausted.
So far, the tough love approach is working.
New jobless claims data released Thursday showed that fewer than expected Americans applied for benefits in the latest week. Supply side economists believe this is proof that the threat of expiring benefits is encouraging more Americans to seek work.
And, that’s important…because leaving Americans unemployed for too long…carries a whole other set of risks.
Dangers of Long-term Unemployment
According to a study by Pew Research, long-term unemployment skyrocketed since the pandemic. In February, 41% of those on unemployment benefits were unemployed for more than 6 months. That’s higher than the highest ratio during the great recession.
As of May, over 4 million Americans have been unemployed for more than 6 months. Benefits programs play a large role in this number and may be contributing to a real crisis in American society.
Benefits are tempting for people who are struggling, but studies show that the long-term use of benefits often leads to dependency. This hurts individuals not just in terms of their future job prospects but also results in negative effects on both the individuals and the communities they reside in.
A recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that almost half of the long-term unemployed experienced strained family relations. Nearly 40% lost self-respect, and 25% said they sought professional help for depression.
This is why we at Trish Intel believe both governors and the administration should encourage policies that will help get Americans back to work, rather than encourage them to stay at home.
We applaud governors that are coming up with creative measures:
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte introduced a back-to-work measure that offered $1,200 to every unemployed worker that gets hired. He was joined by Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt who proposed an incentive of $1,200 to the first 20,000 workers that get rehired.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont introduced a program to give $1,000 to 10,000 long-term unemployed who find work. He is a Democrat, but he deserves kudos from every conservative, especially thanks to his focus on long-term unemployment. (He also has refused to raise income taxes in Connecticut, despite enormous pressure from his party.)
In the long run, getting America back to work will be scary, challenging, and filled with ups and downs. But, as a society, we’ll get through it and, in the end will be far better off with a working population than a population living off government handouts.
To Watch The Trish Regan Show, subscribe to the YouTube channel here: