According to the Washington Examiner, the U.S. Department of Labor revealed in its latest report that only 559,000 were jobs created in May, when 671,000 were expected by analysts. It’s a figure that economists say is too slow to keep U.S. economic recovery on pace as the pandemic winds down.
“It’s great to see a pickup to job growth, but it would have been better to see a larger acceleration,” Indeed Hiring Lab head of North American research Nick Bunker told the Examiner. “Adding over a half-million jobs in one month is a solid pace of growth, but we will need to keep up this tempo for quite some time to get back to a semblance of the pre-pandemic labor market.”
Bunker went on: “Hopefully, we will see an acceleration in the months ahead. The labor market is not treading water, but it could take some time before we make it back to shore.”
Extensions could be the symptom
A number of economists are partially blaming the sluggish job numbers on a $300 per week federal unemployment boost, which provides laid-off workers the equivalent of $17 per hour for staying at home eating potato chips on the couch.
This may be more than the workers could get if they took a typically low-wage job like hostessing in a restaurant or cleaning office buildings.
There are plenty of jobs available across the country, and many employers have reported having an extremely difficult time hiring willing workers. Twenty-four states have said that they plan to end the federal unemployment boost earlier than its planned September expiration, with most of those early expirations happening in June or July.
Around 3.7 million workers will be impacted by the loss of benefits, according to CNBC, so it’s not a stretch to presume that millions of Americans will soon be searching for gainful employment once their free government ride comes to a halt.
More than half of all American adults are now fully vaccinated, and almost two-thirds have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, which some believe could further spur unemployed Americans to return to the workplace.
Biden admin changes its tune
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki carefully redirected the Biden administration’s previous talking points concerning the unemployment boost on Friday, finally saying that states had “every right” to end the boosted benefits earlier than originally scheduled, according to Business Insider.
“Those governors who have made the decision, as they have every right to do, to pull back on unemployment benefits or not accept them, I should say accurately — that hasn’t even taken effect in any state across the country,” Psaki said.
Democrat-run states are holding firm to the extra benefits and unemployment extensions, however, which should soon provide America a perfect comparison to show the difference between states that get back to work and those that continue to hand out free money to the unemployed.
Giving away something for nothing is never a good idea, as everything is eventually paid for in some form or fashion, and the federal unemployment boost should not have been extended, as it only served to hamstring businesses that are trying to resume normal, pre-pandemic operations.