As the economy recovers from the Democratic party’s un-scientific “lockdowns,” the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high. According to a survey, this may have something to do, as many conservatives have said, with the Biden administration’s generous benefits encouraging many Americans to stay on the dole.
Indeed, a Morning Consult poll found that 1.8 million Americans refused a job offer during the pandemic to stay on unemployment.
Poll suggests Americans are turning down jobs because of COVID benefits
According to the poll, one in three Americans on unemployment have turned away a job offer during the pandemic, and of those, 45 percent said that unemployment was the reason.
So, about 13 percent of those on unemployment rejected a job because of their benefits. With 14 million on unemployment in June, that comes out to about 1.8 million Americans.
“While health care concerns and childcare obligations are a barrier to many unemployed workers accepting jobs, these workers acknowledge that they would be employed in the absence of unemployment benefits,” the poll said.
The economy will still be 4.7 million workers shy of pre-pandemic levels even if those 1.8 million return to the workforce.
The survey of 5,000 adults from June 22 to June 25 did find that 56 percent of those on unemployment said they were better off financially when they were employed, but 23 percent said they were doing better on unemployment and 21 percent said they were doing about the same.
Labor shortage drives inflation
With the extra $300 a week, many Americans are now earning twice the federal minimum wage by staying home, or the equivalent of a $17 an hour.
While the unemployment expansion began under president Trump, president Biden renewed it until September despite the pandemic receding. He has said that it “makes sense” to let the benefits expire then.
His critics have said that he is holding back a return to full employment, and some 26 states have moved to end the benefits.
Unemployment increased in June to 5.9 percent, a significant improvement from last spring but still well above pre-pandemic levels of 3.5 percent. Although unemployment remains elevated, many businesses are struggling to hire.
This paradoxical labor shortage may be playing a role in the rising inflation that is hurting American consumers, as a surge in demand outpaces supply. Economists have warned that inflation may last years, despite the White House’s assurances that it is only temporary.