According to reports from the Labor Department on Tuesday, job openings skyrocketed in the month of April to record high levels, stoking fears of a possible labor shortage.
The number of jobs available in the country rose by a million to 9.3 million according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, making this the highest number the agency has seen since they first started keeping track back in 2000.
“Demand for workers is surging as the broader economy starts to emerge from the pandemic,” Indeed Hiring Lab director of research Nick Bunker stated. “At the same time, supply is restrained as workers are slow to find their post-pandemic normal.”
Half of the country’s states, all of which are led by Republican governors, have announced plans to exit from the $300-a-week expanded federal unemployment program early, given recent economic growth and fears of a labor shortage.
For many months during the pandemic, Democrats and Republicans debated the appropriate amount of unemployment aid.
For the first few months of 2021, those receiving unemployment benefits got an extra $300 a week from the federal government on top of what their state already provided. The average person receives $387 in state weekly unemployment payments, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which resulted in a total of approximately $687 every week in aid between the federal and state benefits.
Democrats have been arguing that the higher jobless benefits are necessary right now to help those workers who have been sidelined help individuals who are hurting pay bills and gives the economy a boost in the short term.
Republicans, however, have argued that the unemployment benefits actually discourage individuals from returning back to work, especially those who have low-wage positions, given they make more from the benefits than they do from the jobs they have.
And, of course, the Republicans are right. Why in the world would anyone want to go back to work and make less money than they do by just by staying home.
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