When Republican governors cut off federal unemployment benefits to residents who were all too happy to stay home, collect money, and ignore the prevalent worker shortage, far-left activists said it would hurt the economy. Not surprisingly, those activists have been proven wrong.
Economies in states controlled by GOP governors are normalizing and the unemployment rate is going down. In states controlled by Democrat governors that have refused to cut unneeded benefits to needlessly unemployed workers, local economies are broken and unemployment is rampant.
The number of workers who were being paid benefits via regular state programs fell by nearly 14% in states with an early end to enhanced unemployment payments. States that decided to end enhanced payments in July saw a 10% decline in the number of people collecting these payments, while states ending payments in September saw only a 5.7% decrease in individuals collecting both state and federal payments.
In Missouri, one of the first states to cut enhanced unemployment benefits, the unemployment rate is just over 4%, beating the federal rate of nearly 6%. Business owners report that potential employees are coming to job fairs, signing up for work, and starting their new jobs.
Commenting on the uptick in employment and the benefit it has been to the state economy, Missouri Governor Mike Parson rightly noted that the extra benefits were helpful at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but continuing the payments had “worsened the workforce issues.”
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster was far more blunt than Gov. Parson. He decried the benefits as being “close to socialism,” and noted that businesses in his state had “help wanted” signs up everywhere. South Carolina, like Missouri, has cut the extra benefits and the unemployment rate in the state was a reasonable 4.6% as of May 2021.
Alabamans were informed by Governor Kay Ivey in mid-May that extra federal unemployment benefits would end on June 19, 2021. The state currently has an unemployment rate of 3.4%. By contrast, New York has an unemployment rate of 7.8%, California has a rate of 7.9%, and New Mexico has a rate of 8%.
There is a clear correlation between paying workers extra money to stay home and workers staying home. Some would blame the workers for being all too pleased to collect extra money while doing nothing, but in reality, the blame lies with a left-leaning government and progressive lawmakers who care far more about pushing their own agenda than ushering in an economic recovery.