The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its April Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary on Tuesday, and the numbers look great, yet troubling.
The report showed that a whopping 9.3 million jobs were created in the month of April, a 6 percent increase from March and the highest number ever reported by the BLS, which began keeping records in 2000.
It also reported the lowest percentage of firings and layoffs ever — a mere 1 percent.
Jobs, Jobs Everywhere – But Nobody Wants Them
The BLS noted that “In April, the number of hires changed little at 6.1 million. The hires rate was unchanged at 4.2 percent.”
Why Won’t the Unemployed Take These Jobs?
One word: FPUC, or the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, extended by the Biden administration through the American Rescue Plan, which is giving out an additional $300 a week to eligible individuals until Sept. 6.
That means recipients in Mississippi, instead of receiving a maximum benefit of $235 per week, are now receiving more than twice as much at $535.
And Massachusetts recipients are now receiving a maximum benefit of $1,155, up from $855.
If an unemployed person in Massachusetts can make $60,060 a year, what incentive is there to leave the couch?
Not All States Are the Same
Fortunately, not all states are handling the extra money from Biden’s stimulus package the same way. Twenty-three GOP-led states are ending or modifying the $300 payments.
The next state to do so will be Arizona, which announced its new Arizona Back To Work program that will cancel the extra $300 on July 10.
In its place, the state will offer a $2,000 bonus if the currently unemployed can find and keep a job for at least 10 weeks.
“In Arizona, we’re going to use federal money to encourage people to work … instead of paying people not to work,” GOP Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement.
The strength of the American economy is our Gross Domestic Product, which at $22 trillion is the highest in the world. Only by having a large and productive workforce can we continue to grow our economy, which now is even more necessary to lower government spending and tackle the debt.
“There is dignity in work,” Ducey said. “Ronald Reagan said the best social program is a job. I agree with that.”
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