Steve Scalise: Biden exacerbating labor shortage with ‘socialist agenda’
U.S. employers still struggle to find workers six months after federal jobless benefits were terminated, but that doesn’t mean Republicans are letting Mr. Biden get away with it.
The National Federation of Independent Business reported last week that a record 51% of small-business owners had openings in September that they could not fill, a 48-year high, even though the boost in unemployment benefits ended on Labor Day. This indicates that there are other factors at work.
These include a spate of accelerated retirements and a rising personal savings rate, continuing coronavirus worries, and unresolved child care or schooling situations. Mr. Biden is being criticized for his support of vaccine mandates as well as social welfare payments that go far beyond the now-defunct Pandemic Assistance Relief.
“This is not all they did. They added a number of other welfare programs, and they got rid of the welfare-to-work requirements,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican, said Oct. 10 on “Fox News Sunday.”
Those benefits included a July increase in the annual child tax credit from $2,000 per child to $3,600 for every child younger than 6 and $3,000 for older children — with no work requirement — and raising the cutoff age from 16 to 17.
The Department of Agriculture’s unprecedented 25% permanent increase in food stamp benefits took effect on Oct. 1. The administration also has sought to reverse President Trump‘s rule allowing states to implement work mandates for Medicaid recipients.
Mr. Biden has imposed COVID-19 vaccine requirements for federal workers, contractors and companies with more than 100 employees. This mandate has led to more vaccinations but also reported reports of thousands of workers being fired, suspended, or expelled.
” It wasn’t one thing. Scalise stated that it was many things and that they are all coming together to catch up to this economy. He could reverse it now, but he doesn’t want to. They continue to double down on this far-left socialist agenda .”
Pushing back Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg ,, who stated that the notion that increased federal jobless benefits kept people at home was “freshly disproven .”
“A lot of those benefits ran out, and we did not see the kind of effects of people rushing to return to work that you had a lot of those commentators confidently predicting just a few weeks or months ago,” Mr. Buttigieg said Friday on Fox News. “So this is what I think shows that there are deeper issues
Mohamed El-Erian was the chief economic advisor at Allianz and agreed with this analysis. He stated that it was clear that people have not been entering the workforce since the benefits were terminated.
” So that issue has been sorted,” he stated. “What is preventing labor from coming to .”
Permanently unemployed on the rise
Analysts agree that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a social and economic chain reaction that caused about 5 million people to drop out of the workforce for a variety of reasons, in some cases for good.
” We’re down around 3 million workers pre-pandemic and this includes people who don’t even look for work,” stated Marc Weinstein, a professor of human resources management at Florida International University. “So why are they leaving ?”
Some of them are retiring. A Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School found that at least 1.7million more people than anticipated joined the ranks the retired during the pandemic.
The economy added 194,000 jobs in September, but the net gain was all men. About 220,000 men started jobs and 26,000 women left jobs, indicating that ongoing problems with child care availability and a lack of dependable schooling are driving down workforce participation.
The tally of workers quitting rose from 4 million in July to 4.3 million in August, the highest number since December 2000, according to the Labor Department. People who leave their jobs are replaced by others.
“As an employer, you must deal with the fact you can’t fill new jobs.
In the meantime, personal savings have risen. Some Americans were able to use federal stimulus checks to provide the financial support they needed in order not only to be at home but also to reevaluate their priorities. This phenomenon is known as the “great evaluation” or “great resignation
“Many of these workers may have simply reached a breaking point after months and months of high workloads, hiring freezes, and other pressures, causing them to rethink their work and life goals,” the Harvard Business Review said in a Sept. 15 article.
The U.S. workforce participation rate has been declining slowly but steadily after peaking in 2000, but it fell below 61% at the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Participation climbed to 61.6% in September, still under the 63.3% pre-pandemic level, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The workforce participation rate is the percentage of civilians who are actively seeking work or working.
The September jobs report showed that unemployment dropped from 5.2% in august to 4.8% in September. This figure doesn’t account for people who have left the workforce. Jobless claims fell by 36,000 to 293,000, the smallest number since the pandemic began in March 2020, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Steven Malanga, a fellow at the
Manhattan Institute, said that years of increasing U.S. social assistance payments, including unemployment, have meant that “the ranks of permanently unemployed” in America .”
“People are becoming more comfortable with not working and the Biden administration’s proposals to expand federal aid programs won’t do much to lure them back,” Mr. Malanga stated in a Friday op ed in City Journal.
In July, the number of job openings hit a record 10.9 million. The number fell slightly to 10.4 million in August.
” “I can’t remember a time in recent historical history that was like this,” Paige Ouimet, a professor of finance at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. “This is a very severe labor shortage .”
Employers need to understand that the problem isn’t just a shortage of qualified workers, but also any workers, according to Holly Wade, executive director of National Federation of Independent Business ..
” “We’re seeing more and more that there’s no one applying for these positions,” Ms. Wade stated. It’s not about finding someone with the experience or qualifications you desire; it’s simply finding anyone to apply for your positions .”
Desperate companies have begun offering flexible hours and higher wages to their employees. Retailers and restaurants have reduced hours to manage a small staff.
A billboard in Springfield, Missouri was posted this month by local business owners. It said, “Get off your butt!” Get. To. Work. “Apply Anywhere” as seen on KMOV TV.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker last month mobilized about 250 National Guard members to drive school buses in districts with driver shortages.
The Biden administration last week announced $100 million in funding for the National Health Service Corps to address a shortage of health care workers, whose numbers have fallen by about 524,000 since the start of the pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Republicans believe the $3.5 trillion social expenditure package would increase the labor market problem. It includes free community college, child-care assistance, universal prekindergarten, Medicare expansion, and an extension to the child tax credit up to 2025.
A University of Chicago study that found the Child Tax Credit would cause 1.5 million parents to leave the workforce, or 2.6% of all working parents last month, revealed that the credit is not being kept in place.
Trump administration Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow called this social spending bill “the largest expansion of the social welfare system since LBJ’s Great Society” and said that “none these programs have a single job requirement .”
Liberals claim that the social spending package will address the unaffordable costs of child care, which has prevented many Americans from returning to the workforce.
The Build Back Better plan’s provisions on paid family leave, child care and community college “are going to give us a stronger labor force and help us deal with that major constraint on economic growth,” Mr. Buttigieg said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, a New York Democrat, has introduced legislation to extend unemployment insurance boost up until February. She stated that “it’s not really a shortage of labor.” It’s a dignified job shortage. It’s a shortage of living wages
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver was also a Missouri Democrat who disagreed with his Republican counterparts that higher unemployment benefits had discouraged people from returning to work.
” I think it’s wrong to call Americans lazy,” Mr. Cleaver stated. There are some lazy people. But it’s not all that sudden. After COVID people decided they would be lazy and didn’t want work. Now they get huge payments from the government, even though they’re not getting .”
On the other side is Rep. Kevin Hern, an Oklahoma Republican who brought a bill in May to end the $300-per-week federal unemployment benefits boost and challenged the view that increasing wages is the answer.
“Oklahoma costs $7. 25 an hour, the federal minimum wage, yet there are people hiring at $15 an hour, twice the minimum wage, and still can’t get people,” Mr. Hern said.
Rep. Michael T. McCaul (Texas Republican) said that unemployment benefits can encourage people to leave the workforce.
” If you pay people less to stay at home, and they don’t work, then they aren’t incentivized not to work. Mr. McCaul stated that. We have jobs. “We just don’t have enough jobs .”