To Get America Back to Work, Congress Needs Courage

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You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. You also don’t need an economist to know what happens when the government pays people to stay home. Unemployment rose to 6.1% in April despite thousands of U.S. businesses desperate to hire — especially in the restaurant and hospitality industries.

If you are a business owner in the United States, you already know exactly what’s happening. Employers nationwide are reporting empty job fairs and job interview no-shows. Local shops and restaurants have closed their doors to give exhausted employees a break from covering extra shifts indefinitely.

In New Jersey, a mom-and-pop deli recently closed for good, “not because business is bad,” the owners explained. “We just can’t find anyone to work.” Restaurants ranging from McDonald’s to the high-end restaurants are offering cash to get people to show up to interviews, and they’re giving away hundreds of dollars in signing bonuses to encourage people to fill open positions.