Debate over the welfare state is once again making headlines. On Monday, the expanded unemployment welfare system was finally allowed to expire after more than a year. Originally created as a “short-term” measure authorized for a few months in March 2020 then repeatedly extended, these benefits paid many of the unemployed more than their former jobs, with benefits reaching up to $25/hour in dozens of states.
Dozens of Republican-led states chose to end the benefits early. This week’s termination of enhanced benefits was in the Democrat-run states that maintained the expanded payouts, and with their lapse, the debate over whether these benefits were disincentivizing work was reignited.
While the unemployment rate for Americans dropped in August, there is a political time bomb buried in the statistics for President Joe Biden and a Democratic Party increasingly focused on equity: black joblessness shot up significantly.
In other words, the president who fondly boasts of a domestic policy promising to leave nobody behind has an economic recovery that is leaving a key Democratic constituency in worse shape.
“The rise in black unemployment in August is certainly troubling, considering their unemployment rates were already much higher than any other group,” Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, said on Twitter.
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 340,000 in the week ending Aug. 28, as the economy continues to slowly recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics figure released Thursday represents a slight decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Aug. 21, when 354,000 new jobless claims were reported. That figure was revised from the 353,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.
The Biden administration signaled to Capitol Hill lawmakers Thursday that it will not support an extension of pandemic-related unemployment benefits.
President Joe Biden won’t advocate for an extension of the $300 unemployment bonus given to millions of out-of-work Americans on a weekly basis, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh wrote in a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden and House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which was implemented in March 2020 and extended by Democrats’ recent American Rescue Plan, is set to expire in early September.
“As President Biden has said, the boost was always intended to be temporary and it is appropriate for that benefit boost to expire,” the secretaries wrote.
The latest federal jobs report shows a dip in new unemployment claims, but those figures still remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.
The Department of Labor reported Thursday that 348,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, a decrease of 29,000 from the previous week. That number is the lowest since March 2020.
Americans are growing angrier by the day in a way different from prior sagebrush revolts such as the 1960s Silent Majority or Tea Party furor of over a decade ago.
The rage at the current status quo this time is not just fueled by conservatives. For the first time in their lives, all Americans of all classes and races are starting to fear a self-created apocalypse that threatens their families’ safety and the American way of life.
When I went to pick up my laundry last week, one of the employees, who had just finished folding my clothes, began weeping. “This is the last load I’ll ever do here,” she said in a choked voice. “They’re letting us all go.”
That one little stifled sob described more than just one woman bemoaning the loss of her job. In it was the relentless cry of the average American who is increasingly crushed by the ignorance of our elites.
Florida’s Medicaid enrollment increased by 1% in June with 48,468 low-income residents qualifying for subsidized health care, according to the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).
As of June 30, there were 4,846,412 low-income, elderly and disabled Floridians enrolled in Medicaid, an increase of more than 730,000 since June 2020, AHCA documents in its June enrollment report.
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 373,000 last week as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a slight increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending June 26, when 371,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 364,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.
Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in around 350,000, The Wall Street Journal reported.
A new report shows states that decided to turn away federal unemployment benefits have seen a drop in unemployment.
The Biden administration pushed through a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill earlier this year that included extending $300 weekly unemployment benefits for Americans in addition to unemployment benefits already provided by the states.
Louisiana will be the first Democratic-controlled state to roll back its $300 a week unemployment benefits enacted by federal programs.
Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the bill Wednesday that stops the weekly payments on July 31, but raises Louisiana’s maximum jobless benefits to $275, starting in 2022, according to the legislation.
Louisiana is joined by 25 other Republican led states that have prematurely slashed the weekly pandemic benefits from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which were not set to expire until Sept. 6, 2021. Jobless claims were up 412,000 last week, according to the Department of Labor.
Four states will be cutting pandemic unemployment increases three months early, ending the supplemental $300 in federal aid.
Alaska, Iowa, Missouri, and Mississippi will end pandemic-related unemployment relief on June 12. An additional 21 Republican-led states will slash federal aid before it expires on Sept. 6, according to Business Insider.
Conservatives continue to advocate an end to the increased benefits, saying they are no longer needed now that the pandemic is contained and speculating that the high payouts are discouraging would-be workers from returning.
Relative to the national trend, job searches temporarily increased in states that have announced they will no longer offer the pandemic-related federal unemployment boost, an economic report showed.
In states that are withdrawing from the federal unemployment program, interest in job postings increased 5%, according to the report released Thursday by job listings site Indeed. The increase was relative to a national average recorded during the final two weeks of April, before Republican governors began canceling the federal benefit.
“In May, job search activity on Indeed increased, relative to the national trend, in states that announced they would end federal [unemployment] benefits prematurely,” the Indeed report said.
It’s no secret that US businesses are struggling to find workers. Recent surveys have shown that small businesses are reporting record job openings.
Many have described the phenomenon as a labor shortage.
“Walk outside: labor shortage is the pervasive phenomenon,” economist Lawrence Summers recently observed at a conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
The states of South Carolina and Montana have both decided in recent days to put an end to their handouts of federal unemployment benefits as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, in an effort to encourage residents to return to the workforce, as per CNN.
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) said in his announcement that “incentives matter, and the vast expansion of federal unemployment benefits is now doing more harm than good. We need to incentivize Montanans to return to the workforce.” Instead, Governor Gianforte announced that the state government will be providing $1,200 checks as bonuses to every citizen who returns to work, using the state’s share of the recent $1.9 trillion stimulus package to pay for it.
In South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster (R-S.C.) announced on Thursday that the state would be ending their share of federal unemployment benefits, since “what was intended to be a short-term financial assistance for the vulnerable and displaced during the height of the pandemic has turned into a dangerous federal entitlement, incentivizing and paying workers to stay at home rather than encouraging them to return to the workplace.”
The U.S. economy reported an increase of 266,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.1%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.
Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 266,000 in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, and the number of unemployed persons ticked up to 9.8 million. Economists projected a million Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“The pieces are really coming together for a burst in activity,” Sarah House, senior economist for Wells Fargo’s Corporate and Investment Bank, told the WSJ. “We’re expecting to see the labor market recovery shift into an even faster gear with the April jobs report.”
The U.S. economy reported an increase of 916,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate fell to 6%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.
Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 916,000 in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, and the number of unemployed persons fell to 9.7 million. Economists projected 675,000 Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“There’s a seismic shift going on in the U.S. economy,” Beth Ann Bovino, an economist at S&P Global, told the WSJ.
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims dropped to 684,000 last week as the economy continued to slowly recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a large decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending March 13, when 781,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 770,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.
President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill that includes extended unemployment benefits, direct funding to states and municipalities, and $1,400 checks for most Americans.
“This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country and giving the people of this nation – working people, middle-class folks, people who built the country – a fighting chance, that’s what the essence of it is,” Biden said in the Oval Office before signing the bill.
The biggest gap in understanding how business truly works exists between two distinct groups of people: Those who have made a payroll and those who haven’t.
Anyone who has run a business – small or large – would only be glad to tell you that it is equal parts fulfilling and terrifying.