Labor Day marks the ending of pandemic-induced unemployment benefits whilst the U.S. government dropped 194,000 new jobs in September. Meanwhile, Biden’s labor secretary insists benefits will not be renewed as the economy is headed in the right direction, Business Insider reported.
However, the statistics show that the rise in cases of the Delta variant has delayed another month of economic recovery. In addition, September is the first month that parallels the conclusion of federal unemployment benefits as data reckons.
There Was No Spike In The Employment Rate When The Benefit Ended
According to the September report, discontinuing those federal benefits — which included an extra $300 per week and making gig workers newly eligible for checks — did not motivate workers to return. This is consistent with research demonstrating that the 26 states that opted out of federal benefits early experienced little to no impact on employment but did suffer an economic cost as a result of terminating those programs.
Marty Walsh, the Labor Secretary, told Insider he has been answering inquiries about $300 keeping individuals out of the labor for the last four months. When the twenty-six states finished ending the benefits earlier, they found no evidence that terminating unemployment benefits resulted in increasing labor-force employment. The extra $300 didn’t have a significant impact on people joining the workforce as everyone imagined it would, Walsh noted.
Walsh confirmed there is no need to bring back the enhanced benefits as the economy is heading in the right direction. The reason unemployment benefits were established was that in the beginning, tens of millions of Americans were out of work overnight, he noted.
The expanded benefits were initially institutionalized in President Donald Trump’s CARES Act, with an additional $600 per week. Those benefits expired in July 2020, but an additional $300 per week was added in December 2020. President Joe Biden extended the additional $300 per week through his American Rescue Plan, which ended on Labor Day.
Millions Of Americans Were Affected
Over 8 million Americans lost their benefits completely when federal benefits expired on Labor Day. Experts had cautioned that it was too soon to discontinue programs as the Delta wave overtook the country and suffocated economic recovery. Unemployed Americans were concerned about what would happen next and whether they would have to subject themselves to additional risk if they applied for in-person jobs.
Walsh and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen published a letter in August confirming that unemployment would not last through September 6. However, they also indicated that states could continue benefits past Labor Day on their own, writing that in areas where a more progressive winding down of unemployment benefits makes sense, American Rescue Plan funds can be used to offset the costs of providing help.