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Time for America To Get to Work

Policymakers have a conundrum on their hands. While trillions of dollars are being handed out to boost our economy’s recovery from COVID-19, some are beginning to wonder if all that stimulus hasn’t reached the point of doing more harm than good — to the job market, anyway.

U.S. employers posted a record number of available jobs in March. Job gains are weak not because there is not potential, but because employers can’t find people to fill jobs. Job openings rose nearly 8%, to 8.1 million in March, the most found since 2000. Yet overall hiring rose less than 4% to 6 million.

In a survey of small businesses by the National Federation of Independent Business, an astounding 44% had jobs they couldn’t fill.

Even President Joe Biden concedes the federal government should begin working with states on reviving requirements that those receiving aid must search for jobs and take a position if offered.

Meanwhile, an economist says recent reports “add to evidence from the April employment report that labor shortages are widespread, pushing up prices. …” Of course there are still good, pandemic-related reasons some people are unable to seek work. But even those excuses are quickly disappearing. It is time for states and the federal government to find a middle ground about who still genuinely needs help, and who is taking full advantage of the government’s “generosity” to avoid working.

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