Many Hesitant to Return to Work, Making More Money in Unemployment

Despite tens of millions of Americans being out of work, some business owners are having a tough time hiring. That's because many are choosing to take unemployment benefits instead of returning to work.

Imagine getting more money sitting at home than going to work. That’s exactly what's been happening. Rachel Greszler, a Research Fellow in Economics, Budget and Entitlements at the Heritage Foundation, says the federal government's been offering an extra six hundred dollars a week in unemployment benefits via the CARES Act. However, it’s had a negative effect on many business owners.

“As parts of society are starting to reopen, a lot of businesses are having a hard time getting their workers to come back. They feel like they’re having to compete with the government’s unemployment benefits,” Greszler said.

She notes 65 to 75 percent of the 39 million Americans out of work are collecting more in unemployment than their previous wages.

Congress is now debating a potential cap in unemployment based on wages. House Democrats passed a separate bill that would extend the additional benefits through January 2021. However, Senate Republicans are resistant.

In Texas, the state's Workforce Commission can take away your benefits if you don't have a valid health or safety reason not to return to work. Valid Reasons include a lack of access to child care, if you are under quarantine, if you or family member has COVID, if you are 65 or older, or if you are vulnerable to the Coronavirus. The Workforce Commission reviews each case individually.

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