Virus recession pushes unemployed states to return to work

STOWE, Vt. – Eduardo Rowetto is anticipating the need for Vermont to be restored that those who are collecting unemployment benefits should seek work to qualify, giving them enough for their restaurant in the resort town of Stowe Having employees will help.

“We’re getting a lot of excuses for not making a comeback,” said Rowetto, who is offering signatures bonuses of up to $ 600 to try to add 15 to 20 employees to stay until mid-October. Agree. “Obviously, it was a valid one with COVID, but, you know, I think it’s getting used less now. Vaccines are free, they are out for anyone. “

Many employers are telling similar stories. Fourteen months after COVID-19 forced hundreds of thousands of people out of work, the American economy is turning and employers are desperate for workers.

The challenge was highlighted on Friday when employers across the country added 266,000 jobs, which was lower than expected, and businesses reported that they could not find people to fill openings that would make them increasingly strong economic Have to keep up with the rebound.

To encourage people to return to work, more states are making it difficult for people to live on unemployment. Many have blamed the easy benefits that followed the epidemic, including a supplemental federal payment of $ 300 a week on top of the state’s benefits. The reasoning is that people make more money sitting at home than going back to work.

Many states have begun requiring people receiving unemployment benefits to show that they are actively seeking work, and some will stop providing additional federal supplements.

It is not just the hospitality sector that is flirting to fill positions. Ellen Candles, based in Milford, New Hampshire, is looking to fill 1,500 positions there and at her facility in New Albany, Ohio to meet the demand for the holiday season. Representatives of the company will participate in several virtual job fairs this month.

We’ve had more than 100 positions open since the beginning of the year, and more recently we’ve increased the sign-on bonus to $ 1,200 for hourly positions, because we’re competing with one unit , Which can print its own money — the CEO government — and its $ 300 extra unemployment benefit per week, “said CEO Rod Haral.” I would love to welcome those looking for work to join our team. “

Labor experts say the shortfall is not just about the $ 300 payment. Some unemployed people are also reluctant to look for work because they fear catching the virus. Others have found new occupations rather than returning to their old jobs. And many women, especially working mothers, have had to leave the workforce to care for children.

The details and timing of state-led efforts to get people back to work, but they are coming from states led by both Republicans and Democrats.

In addition to Vermont, states that have restored the need for work exploration include Arizona, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.

“As President Reagan said, the best social program is a work,” said Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Dusi when he announced the need to resume the search for work. “This statement is true today. Unemployment benefits still accrue to those who need them, but now that there are plenty of jobs available, those receiving benefits must be actively looking for work. “

Montana, South Carolina and Arkansas plan to stop accepting the $ 300 benefit.

Announcing last week that unemployed workers starting June 27 would no longer receive $ 300 benefits, the Montana Republican government. Greg Jianfort said it was “doing more harm than good.”

Rachel Mata, an area manager at Fayetteville, a North Carolina-based staffing company, said people have been finding it difficult to find positions since the passage of the latest federal COVID-19 relief bill.

“We find candidates who will mention, ‘Hey, you know, why would I go to work when I paid more on unemployment to sit at home?” Mother said.

At the recent Job Fair, only one candidate showed up, said Mata, whose company, Mega Force Staffing Group Inc., focuses primarily on manufacturing jobs. In other cases, candidates have gone through the onboarding process of the staffing company, not just to show their start date.

William Spriggs, an economist at Howard University and chief economist at AFL-CIO, said the issue is not as simple as the unemployed are capable of receiving more benefits. He says that the economy has changed.

He said that he did not feel that the search for a job was bad, but it would not solve the labor shortage.

“Matching workers is not as easy as people think, which is what some of these employers are finding out,” Spriggs said.

There may be a lot of jobs available, but in some cases they are not fit for the unemployed with special work skills.

“I am a master technician with 30 years of experience. You think I’m going to work in a pet shop? “Said Vermont, who lost his job last year when he works in the theater where he stopped performing,” said an out-of-the-work workhand from Burlington, Vermont.

Chikin says he is eager to return to work when theaters resume normal performances. He is receiving unemployment, including $ 300 supplementary benefits, but he is still months behind in his rent.

“I think the feeling of optimism is that human nature is what it is, I know that sooner or later people are going to regroup in large groups for entertainment, and when that happens I have There will be work, ”he said.

And people are still losing their jobs.

Krystal Dvorak, 41, an audiologist in Billings, Montana, with two teenage daughters, set fire to the epidemic early, diving deep into her savings, only to find out last month when she worked for the clinic, So she will lose her job. Was sold about nine years.

Gianfort announced on June 27 that the $ 300 benefit would end, the second day of Dvorak’s unemployment.

“It was in my tears,” he said.

After learning that the unemployment benefit would be discontinued and the return work, along with a one-time bonus of $ 1,200, Dvorak began applying for waiting jobs, even though it might complicate his search.

“Knowing that change is coming, I have to be open to other positions,” she said. “I have shown interest in more jobs in the last week than applying for my full 25 years of work.”

Associated Press writers Sarah Rankin in Richmond, Virginia, Iris Samuels in Helena, Montana, Cathy McCormack in Concord, New Hampshire, and Statehouse journalists around the country contributed.


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