President Joe Biden is praising a drop in unemployment nationally after he ended work disincentives that Republicans have long recommended and which GOP governors cut out months ago to improve employment in their states.

Specifically, Biden’s administration ended paying out $300 per week in unemployment benefits on top of state benefits, citing the effect it had on dampening employment amid a labor shortage as businesses and companies desperate for workers were unable to fill openings.

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“Today, we learned that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment has fallen below 300,000 for the first time since the pandemic began — a drop of more than 60 percent since I took office, and the lowest weekly figure since March 14, 2020,” Biden noted in a statement on Thursday. “While this is just one week, the fact that the four-week average declined is yet another sign of progress.”

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The extra unemployment payouts officially ended for the entire country on Sept. 6. The payments were part of the president’s earlier $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill passed earlier this year. But Republicans have long insisted that the extra money was enticing too many Americans to remain out of the workforce because they were making as good of, or better, money staying home.

Just the News reports:

The enhanced jobless payments were continued through President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. Many Republican governors attributed the labor shortage in the economy, particularly in restaurants and retail stores, to the added benefit on top of state jobless payments.

This prompted 26 states to voluntarily end the federal benefits over the summer in advance of the Sept. 6 end date in the American Rescue Plan Act.

A recent study found that Florida’s economy, in particular, improved after Gov. Ron DeSantis ended the bonus benefits early.

“Today, there is more job creation, more economic activity, and less unemployment thanks to the economic stewardship of Gov. DeSantis. In particular, the governor’s decision to end the $300 weekly unemployment bonus helped to accelerate Florida’s economic recovery and kick the state into overdrive,” Hayden Dublois and Jonathan Ingram noted in a study for the Foundation for Government Accountability.

“While Florida’s work-first policies, low taxes, limited regulations and support for entrepreneurs made the state better positioned to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, the study’s authors noted that the nationwide labor shortage also hit Florida. In March 2021, Florida employers had nearly 500,000 open jobs, even though three times as many Floridians were on unemployment as compared to pre-pandemic levels,” Fox Business added.

“After then-President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act into law, federal unemployment insurance paid recipients $300 per week on top of the weekly state unemployment payments. Employers have complained that former employees were refusing to come back to work because they made more money on unemployment than they did on the job. JPMorgan Chase estimated that 48% of benefit recipients made as much as or more than their previous wages,” the network continued.

DeSantis, one of the first governors to end the extra benefit, said at the time that it was harming re-employment as the state moved out of pandemic mode. But not only did ending the benefit early help employers, the decision saved Florida taxpayers billions of dollars in benefits.

“Between late May, when DeSantis announced the phase-out and late August, Florida employers hired nearly 1.3 million new workers, with nearly 400,000 of the new hires recorded in the first three weeks after the unemployment bonus elimination,” Fox Business reported.

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In the aftermath, Florida entrepreneurs also created some 150,000 new businesses, more than in any other state, the study’s authors wrote.

“President Biden’s promised labor market recovery has not materialized,” Christina Pushaw, press secretary for the executive office of the governor, told FoxBusiness in a statement. “Despite dismal national trends, Governor DeSantis’ policies continue to support job growth in Florida, and our economy is thriving. Thousands of people from different states move to Florida every month in search of opportunity and a better lifestyle.”

 

SOURCE: Conservative Brief

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