(FiveNation.com)- A stunning poll released recently shed lots of light on the damage the continued federal boost to unemployment benefits is having on the jobs market.
The Morning Consult’s poll revealed that roughly 1.84 million people turned down job offers so they could stay at home collecting unemployment under the Democrats’ beefed-up plan.
According to the poll, one-third of people who have received unemployment benefits have turned down a job offer while the pandemic was going on. Of those people, 45% said the enhanced unemployment benefits were a major reason why they turned down the offer, and 13% said the benefits were the sole reason they turned it down.
During the height of the pandemic in spring of 2020, bipartisan relief plans gave out an extra $600 per week to people who were on unemployment. That money came from the federal government. Unemployment benefits were also opened up to more people than qualified before, such as gig workers, freelancers and those who are self-employed.
The enhanced benefit was reduced to $300 by former President Donald Trump in the fall of 2020, which lasted through the winter.
In March of this year, though, President Joe Biden and Democrats forced through yet another expensive stimulus package, called the American Rescue Plan, even as the economy was getting better.
It extended the time by which people could qualify for unemployment benefits, even if they had already been receiving them for a year. In addition, it added $300 per week from the federal government, continuing to essentially pay people more money through unemployment than they’d get through a typical salary.
One of the main reasons why Republicans wouldn’t sign onto the Democrat-backed bill was they believed the extended and enhanced unemployment benefits were incentivizing people to remain out of work.
The average state unemployment benefits nationwide is roughly $387. Combined with the federal enhancement, that gave the average person $687 per week in unemployment benefits, roughly the equivalent of an hourly wage of $17.17.
That number is more than double the federal minimum wage, and even higher than what Democrats were proposing a few months ago.
The Morning Consult poll is backing up what Republicans have been arguing all along.
The poll was taken last month, when about 14.1 million people were collecting unemployment benefits.
John Leer, who’s the chief economist at Morning Consult, remarked:
“Looking ahead, 1.84 million also provides a reasonable upper bound estimate of the number of jobs likely to be filled through the end of the year as a result of the expiration of federal unemployment benefits over the summer.”
There was talk that Biden might consider extending the enhanced unemployment benefits again when they’re set to expire in late summer. However, an improved economy and polls such as this one will likely result in him not doing that.
In fact, 26 governors across the country have already stopped receiving and giving out the extra $300 per week to unemployed workers to incentivize people to go back to work.