Businesses in the United States have reported serious issues in finding employees. “Help Wanted” posters litter the front of restaurants, grocery stores, and other small establishments throughout the nation. This phenomenon is caused by “compassionate” people in Washington attempting to aid people through the pandemic. The Government may mean well, but their solution of extra unemployment insurance is causing more problems than it can fix.
The original amount of $600 per week from the federal government on top of state unemployment insurance made sense when countless businesses were shut down due to the virus. But there have been changes. The virus is less deadly according to “the science” due to the introduction of vaccines. States have revoked “stay-at-home” orders. Businesses are back to 100% capacity or close to it. The problem businesses face now is a workforce that appears unwilling to work. Even though the $600 per week bonus from the government has been reduced to $300 per week, it is still too much.
Managers and owners of restaurants across the nation all generally have the same problem. Employees would rather quit or show up whenever they’d like because staying at home pays more money. Federal unemployment insurance stacks on top of state unemployment insurance. So, for instance, a state may pay out a max of $300 per week for a total of $1200 per month. But if the federal government pays out another $300 per week, that’s a total of $2400 per month. Compare that to a job paying $8 dollars an hour on a 40-hour workweek bringing home around $800 after taxes. It’s a no-brainer.
Some say that companies simply need to pay their employees more and that “starvation wages” are unacceptable in 2021. The issue with that line of thinking is that $2400 per month is a lot of money. It would take the equivalent of about $24 an hour on a 40-hour workweek to match that amount in a month. There are several high-paid skilled trades that don’t make that type of money. And even if a person made slightly more than that by working, why work hard for 160 hours in a month if it was possible to stay home and make just a couple hundred dollars less?
Some “experts” decry the complaints from business owners as “anecdotal” and that the economy is not quite prepared for more employees. That line of reasoning is a very hard sell to those who deal with the issue every day. Employers on the west coast, east coast, midwest, and the south are all having the same problem. Some states are proposing bills to limit the amount of unemployment insurance that their state allows to reduce the understaffing crisis. Other states will join soon. And hopefully, sooner than later, pressure is placed on the back of the federal government. Because the longer they keep printing and giving out loads of cash for free, the worse the problem of understaffing will become.
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