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Politics Bad jobs report amplifies GOP cries to end $300 benefits boost

01:40  08 may  2021
01:40  08 may  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Transcript: Read President Biden's first address to Congress

  Transcript: Read President Biden's first address to Congress President Joe Biden on Wednesday delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress. Read his remarks as prepared for delivery: © Melina Mara/Pool/AFP/Getty Images US President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on April 28, 2021. Madame Speaker. Madame Vice President. No president has ever said those words from this podium, and it's about time. The First Lady. The Second Gentleman. Mr. Chief Justice. Members of the United States Congress and the Cabinet -- and distinguished guests. My fellow Americans.

The April jobs report is out, and the results were a deep disappointment. Fewer than 300 ,000 jobs were added in April, well below the million projected by experts. More stories from theweek.com5 brutally funny cartoons about the GOP 's shunning of Liz CheneyThe insurrectionists are winningLiz Some Republican states have started to enact programs to end the federal boost to unemployment

Happening Now: The jobs report was so bad this morning, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is calling on the federal government to end the enhanced unemployment payments that millions are collecting. Many believe that workers are making more money by remaining unemployed instead of going back to work. “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce called Friday for states to stop offering a $ 300 weekly boost to unemployment insurance payments in the wake of April’s below-expectations jobs report ,” according to The Hill.

A disappointing April jobs report following months of reported hiring struggles among businesses is fueling a Republican push to end enhanced unemployment aid programs extended by President Biden in March.

Henry McMaster, Greg Gianforte are posing for a picture: Bad jobs report amplifies GOP cries to end $300 benefits boost © Getty Images, Greg Nash Bad jobs report amplifies GOP cries to end $300 benefits boost

GOP governors and lawmakers are taking steps to scrap a $300 weekly boost to jobless benefits and other programs created at the onset of the pandemic that expanded aid to millions of unemployed Americans.

Republicans, who have long been critical of generous jobless benefits, are seizing on April's lackluster employment gain as proof that pandemic-related programs are hindering what should be a booming recovery.

Transcript: Joe Biden delivers speech to joint session of Congress

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U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Wants End To $ 300 -A-Week Federal Unemployment Benefits —Blames It On Bad Jobs Report . Marshall’s bill would end on May 31 the $ 300 -a-week unemployment insurance created by the CARES Act and extended through September by the American Rescue Plan. Marshall, who plans to introduce the bill when the Senate returns to session on Monday, said in a statement residents of his state tell him “folks are staying at home due to the rich unemployment benefits .”

The disappointing jobs report makes it clear that paying people not to work is dampening what should be a stronger jobs market. We need a comprehensive approach to dealing with our workforce issues and the very real threat unfilled positions poses to our economic recovery from the pandemic. One step policymakers should take now is ending the $ 300 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit . Based on the Chamber’s analysis, the $ 300 benefit results in approximately one in four recipients taking home more in unemployment than they earned working.

Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Ks.) said Friday he will introduce a bill to phase out the $300 weekly boost, set to expire in September, by the end of the month. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also called for the end of the $300 supplement in light of the jobs miss.

The Republican governors of Montana and South Carolina had already announced plans to end their state's participation in pandemic jobless aid programs, and other GOP-controlled states are expected to follow suit.

"Even though President Biden inherited a strong economic recovery, it's clear his job-killing policies are hurting working families and Main Street businesses," said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Critics of enhanced unemployment aid have grown increasingly alarmed about its potential impact on the recovery after businesses across the country reported trouble hiring workers.

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Congress added $ 300 per week to state benefits ; Republican governors in Montana and South Carolina this week announced they’ll cancel the federal supplement ahead of its September expiration date in order to alleviate a “labor shortage.” But the jobs report offered a mixed picture, showing the disappointing overall jobs -added number next to an influx of workers into the labor force, and big gains in the leisure and hospitality industry. That served to undercut the GOP ’s argument about unemployment benefits discouraging hiring.

"The disappointing jobs report makes it clear that paying people not to work is dampening what should be a stronger jobs market," U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley said in a statement on Friday. The Chamber's support for canceling benefits comes after South Carolina and Montana announced plans this week to eliminate their federal jobless benefits starting next month. "This labor shortage is being created in large part by the supplemental unemployment payments that the federal government provides claimants on top of their state unemployment benefits ," Gov.

Economists, however, say it's not that simple.

While some unemployed workers may be receiving more money through jobless aid than the median wage in their state, many economists say that dynamic is not the only or even the main reason why businesses are having trouble finding applicants.

"The case that labor shortages are slowing jobs growth is stronger today than it was yesterday, however the jury is still out on how much enhanced unemployment benefits are a contributing factor," Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor, said in an email.

"Ultimately, the pandemic is the largest single factor driving these labor shortages. If not for the pandemic, we would have millions of unemployed workers competing for jobs that are in short supply."

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic roiled the U.S. labor force in unprecedented ways, evaporating more than 21 million jobs in two months. While the U.S. has since regained roughly 12 million jobs, millions of Americans who were forced out of the labor force have not yet returned for pandemic-related reasons.

How April's dismal jobs report is setting the stage for Biden's $4 trillion economic fight with the GOP

  How April's dismal jobs report is setting the stage for Biden's $4 trillion economic fight with the GOP Democrats and Republicans drew opposite conclusions from April's jobs report and the way forward in healing an economy battered by the pandemic. The Friday report showed the economy recovered 266,000 jobs, a smaller amount defying expectations of a massive job surge on the back of government stimulus dollars, increased vaccinations, and easing restrictions. Economists had forecasted at least 1 million regained jobs.In response, the GOP is demanding to end parts of President Joe Biden's stimulus and calling for the government to slam the brakes on its spending.

One disappointing jobs report does not mean the country's economy is in trouble. But this is evidence it may take a lot longer for the US to make its economic comeback. The slowdown in hiring was "very probably" not a result of weaker demand for workers, said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at "We know from endless surveys that labour demand is very strong, but we also know from both surveys and media- reported anecdotes that firms are finding it hard to recruit people," he said. He said that the data "made it much easier" to argue that putting up unemployment benefits by $ 300 a week in the March

To make matters worse , Crenshaw, 52, isn't eligible for a new Trump administration program offering an extra $ 300 a week in benefits , due to restrictions. "How could you even eat lunch on a week? It's not possible," said Crenshaw, who was furloughed in March from her food-services job . In August, half of Americans collecting jobless benefits couldn't cover basic household expenses using that aid — nearly double the 29% share in July, when the 0 weekly boost was still flowing, according to a survey published Tuesday by the Morning Consult, a market research firm.

Just more than half of all U.S. adults have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of April, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Thursday. That means many working-age Americans - potential colleagues and customers - have not yet been vaccinated.

Roughly 5 million U.S. women are also unable to go back to work because of a child in need of care, a number difficult to whittle down without adequate school and daycare openings.

"Childcare needs and avoiding health risks are challenges we've seen throughout the pandemic that are not easily solved by one-time bonuses or even higher wages," Zhao said.

"Therefore any pre-crisis strategies that typically help attract workers may not be as effective during the pandemic."

President Biden and administration officials expressed confidence that job creation would pick back up as vaccinations accelerate, childcare options reopen, and the economy works out the kinks of the recovery.

"It may be bumpy from month to month for a variety of factors," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said at the White House. "One should never take one month's data as an underlying trend."

On The Money: Five takeaways on a surprisingly poor jobs report | GOP targets jobless aid after lackluster April gain

  On The Money: Five takeaways on a surprisingly poor jobs report | GOP targets jobless aid after lackluster April gain Happy Friday and welcome back to On The Money, where we're thinking a lot about the lost grey whale. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.See something I missed? Let me know at slane@thehill.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com, njagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane, @NJagoda and @NivElis.

Yellen also argued that if enhanced unemployment benefits were suppressing hiring, states with lower median wages would have higher rates of joblessness since the additional benefits would make a greater income difference.

"In fact what you see is the exact opposite," Yellen said. "We have had a very unusual hit to our economy, and the road back is going to be somewhat bumpy."

Congressional attempts to end expanded jobless aid are destined for failure without clearer evidence that workers have been disincentivized from coming back. But state autonomy over unemployment insurance means Republican governors can pull out of pandemic programs on their own, raising concerns among those who support generous benefits.

"Enhanced jobless benefits helped save the economy by ensuring millions of families could pay rent and buy groceries during this crisis. Cutting off all benefits while millions of workers have not yet been able to return to work could cause tremendous financial pain and sabotage our economic recovery," said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, in a Friday statement.

And even some right-leaning economists have urged caution before making major policy changes based on one month of data and anecdotes.

"The labor shortage has multiple plausible causes, many of which are highly understandable and not remotely blameworthy," tweeted Alan Cole, senior economist for Republicans on the Joint Economic Committee.

"But the fact that there's multiple plausible causes makes it harder to argue about any specific one."

Tough jobs report scrambles Washington battle ahead of crucial week .
A bust in the latest US government jobs report is electrifying the Washington battle over Joe Biden's massively ambitious programs and offering an early hint of the political peril the President could face if the economy doesn't bounce back strongly.A bust in the latest US government jobs report is electrifying the Washington battle over Joe Biden's massively ambitious programs and offering an early hint of the political peril the President could face if the economy doesn't bounce back strongly.

usr: 4
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