Is the $300 weekly benefit a big factor in job-seekers not looking for work?

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At his coronavirus briefing on Tuesday, Gov. John Carney acknowledged that job opportunities have increased and urged residents to look for work.

Carney stopped short of saying the state will end supplemental unemployment payments that have been around in an off-and-on fashion since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic.

 A few states are ending the extra payments as jobless rates drop.

Carney also noted that the current $300 a week benefit is temporary.

Delaware has an unemployment rate that largely mirrors the national average of more than six percent. By contrast, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Utah posted a 2.9 percent unemployment rate in March.

Early this week, former Delaware U.S. Senator and U.S. President Joe Biden said he had not seen evidence that jobless payments keep people out of the workplace. 

Business owners and Republicans disagree with some states resuming job search requirements.

Others point to factors that include child care issues, Covid-19 fears, hybrid schooling that keep parents at home, early retirements, and a reluctance by employers to increase wages. Sign-on bonuses are becoming more widespread. 

Those discounting the effect of the added weekly benefit note that lower-paying areas such as hospitality are seeing the most job growth in recent reports, even though lower-paid workers would presumably benefit more by staying at home and keeping the $300 a week benefit.

Moreover, unemployment benefits are not automatic. Payments have been going to these workers through supplemental programs. 

Also, employers who were laid off will lose jobless benefits if they refuse an offer to return to their old jobs. 

On Monday, Biden emphasized that those not seeking employment will lose benefits.

The Biden-Harris administration did point out a program that allows those working part-time to continue to receive the supplemental benefit. 


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