(USA Features) The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is urging President Joe Biden to end expanded federal unemployment benefits funded by last year’s pandemic relief bills because the extra payments are discouraging Americans from reentering the labor market, hurting the economic recovery.
The Labor Department reported Friday that the economy only created about 266,000 jobs last month, far fewer than the 1 million jobs most labor analysts expected the economy to produce.
As such, the business lobbying organization says that it has become “clear that paying people not to work is dampening what should be a stronger jobs market.”
The group also argued that adding $300 in federal jobless benefits to state benefits is discouraging people from taking jobs.
“We need a comprehensive approach to dealing with our workforce issues and the very real threat unfilled positions poses to our economic recovery from the pandemic,” said the group’s executive vice president, Neil Bradley.
“One step policymakers should take now is ending the $300 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit. Based on the Chamber’s analysis, the $300 benefit results in approximately one in four recipients taking home more in unemployment than they earned working,” Bradley added.
Republicans used the very poor jobs report to say that the benefits are too generous.
“The government pays people big bucks NOT to work so they don’t!,” Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., wrote on Twitter. “DUH! Socialism seems nice but in fact is destructive. America: learn or lose!”