(RoyalPatriot.com )- Businesses everywhere are having a difficult time filling job openings, despite so many people being out of work.
Many business owners have said they believe a main reason for this is the fact that the federal government is paying people to stay home. With enhanced unemployment benefits paying them more than they’d make at a job — and with benefits extended again through September — there’s little incentive for people to return to work.
On Monday, though, White House press secretary Jen Psaki tried to deflect any concerns that people have about the federal policies. At a press conference, she was asked by Peter Doocy of Fox News:
“Employment only rose by about 266,000 jobs in April, out of 7.4 million or so job openings. How does the White House know that people are just choosing not to apply for jobs because the extra unemployment benefits are so good?”
“First let me say that we have looked at the data, and [Treasury] Secretary [Janet] Yellen alluded to this on Friday. We don’t see much evidence that the extra unemployment insurance is a major driver in people not rejoining the workforce. We actually see the data, and our analysis shows that lack of vaccination, the lower rate, which is why I referred to the data in the week that it was taken. It has an impact.
“Childcare has an impact. Schools reopening has an impact. But there is also the need to pay a livable, working wage, and that’s one of the reasons the president will talk about that this afternoon.”
Doocy wouldn’t let her get away without pressing her further, though. He followed up by asking:
“Bank of America economists who were cited in a Bloomberg story say that anyone who is making less than $32,000 a year is financially better off just taking the unemployment benefit. So, is the White House creating an incentive just to stay home?”
“Again, the majority of economists, internally and externally of the White House don’t feel that unemployment insurance, something that was done at a time where to help unemployed people get through a very difficult economic downturn, during a pandemic, is a major driver in our unemployment data.
“That there were other factors, bigger factors that were contributing, have been contributing to the numbers we saw on Friday. That’s what we’re working to address, and that’s where we think our solutions should be focused.”
The “other factors” could be people being afraid to return to work, as the commerce secretary said last week. Doocy pressed Psaki on how the White House knows people are scared. Her reply:
“Well, I think what she was referring to is the fact that there was a much lower vaccination rate just a month ago. And that people are fearful about getting sick. They are fearful about whether they are going to have the conditions to be healthy, whether they can send their kids to a child care center, whether there is a child care center, so those are all factors that are consistent with the examples and reasons I just provided.”
In other words, the White House doesn’t really know what they’re talking about.