Employers across the country have more than 8.1 million open jobs sitting unfilled. But while this is usually a sign of a booming economy, the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic shutdowns has stalled under the Biden administration.
One major reason: Government programs pay more to stay home than to return to work. Federal actions to create an unemployment bonus, extend benefits, relax eligibility rules, and suspend work search requirements have made it virtually impossible for small businesses to compete with government benefits. As a result, individuals can now collect more in benefits by staying out of the workforce, can collect those benefits for more than a year, and have absolutely no expectation set for them to even attempt to find a new job.
Although these programs have sunset dates, Congress has expanded and extended them multiple times, most recently in March 2021. Indeed, Democrats in Congress have even called for making these policies permanent and expanding unemployment even further.