Surprise, surprise. The month after enhanced federal unemployment benefits ended, job hires shot up significantly.
For months there have been over 10 million jobs available, but for some inexplicable reason, at least to Democrats, employers struggled to fill the positions.
Then on Sept. 6, the last round of $300 weekly federal supplements to state unemployment benefits went out.
And on Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported employers made 531,000 new hires in the month of October, while the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent.
CNBC noted weekly jobless claims dropped of late, which is “the result in good part from enhanced unemployment benefits expiring.”
Claims for unemployment insurance stubbornly held at over 300,000 per week throughout the spring and summer, until finally dropping below that threshold in early October.
The $300 per week federal enhancement to unemployment benefits was due to expire in March, but the Democrats passed their $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act extending the payments until September.
That, along with an expansion of the child tax credit to $3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 for children ages 6 through 17 for the rest of the year, created a strong incentive for many to not go back to work.
Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, the federal government has been putting $300 payments into parents’ bank accounts per month, per kid.
Previously, under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the tax credit maxed out at $2,000 per year, per child, which was means-tested.
The Foundation for Government Accountability calculated that when unemployment payments and child tax credits are added to existing benefits for lower-income Americans, that works out to about $3,700 per month for a two-kid family or $44,300 per year in payments.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) August 3, 2021
Thanks to a flood of cash from the government, The Wall Street Journal reported, families built up significant savings during the pandemic, which have enabled many to not return to work.
“After rounds of federal stimulus money, unemployment insurance and a child-care tax credit, households — collectively, at least — built up a cushion during the pandemic,” the news outlet said.
“However, those savings — which at one point exceeded $2 trillion, according to private sector estimates — have dwindled, though they remain elevated. As savings come down, some adults will return to the workforce starting in the winter, some economists say.”
States recovering jobs the quickest are Republican-led because they were the ones that ended the enhanced unemployment benefits months ago.
? FACT: 17 of the top 20 states for recovering jobs from the pandemic are led by Republican governors. pic.twitter.com/oEKNjLpxKn
— Jake Schneider (@jacobkschneider) November 5, 2021
A report released by the Foundation for Government Accountability in July offered definitive data points to show the enhanced federal benefits kept people on the sidelines by comparing states that ended them versus those that did not.
“[I]n states that ended the federal pandemic-related unemployment programs, work search activity rose by more than 28 percent in May and June,” the FGA said.
“This growth was 68 percent faster in states that ended the unemployment bonus than in states that did not.”
Further, the unemployment rate declined in the states that opted out of the enhanced benefits.
“Since May 8, new unemployment claims have fallen by 30 percent in states that ended the bonus, hitting their lowest levels since the pandemic hit,” the organization said.
Meanwhile, in the states that kept paying the enhanced benefits, unemployment claims ticked up in five of the last six weeks before the report came out on July 22.
The organization also noted in a news release in early July that there was a 4.9 percent increase in claims in states that continued unemployment bonuses, while states that ended them saw a 3.2 percent decrease in initial unemployment claims.
So case closed. When you pay people not to work and make the social safety net so comfortable it turns into a hammock, many people will choose not to work.
And while they’re kicking back, hard-working American taxpayers get to foot the bill.
For this reason alone, President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda should be rejected.
It would continue enhanced child tax credits, expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and offer rental assistance payments among new entitlement spending the nation cannot afford.
Taken together, Build Back Better amounts to a return to the failed Great Society days of the 1960s, on steroids.
Friday’s jobs numbers prove the best way to get the economy moving is to stop paying people not to work.
Build Back Better should be rejected.
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