You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Shocking study: People work less when you pay them not to work

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 8/26/2021 Christopher Tremoglie
a group of people around each other: In this Sept. 25, 2014 photo, students attend The Foot in the Door Career Fair at the University of Illinois in Springfield, Ill. The Labor Department releases employment data for September on Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman) © Seth Perlman In this Sept. 25, 2014 photo, students attend The Foot in the Door Career Fair at the University of Illinois in Springfield, Ill. The Labor Department releases employment data for September on Friday, Oct. 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

The criticism that the federal government’s pandemic assistance payments incentivized workers not to look for employment seems validated. Data released in May show that a reduction of federal unemployment benefits facilitated job gains in the labor market, according to City Journal.

Congressional Republicans have long argued that a continuation of federal pandemic unemployment assistance was doing more harm than good and incentivized Americans not to look for work. This sentiment was echoed by Noah Williams in City Journal.

The “federal benefit enhancements meant that many workers would earn more while unemployed than they did while working, providing a strong disincentive to find a job,” Williams said. Statistics released in May show how the “termination of enhanced federal unemployment benefits has provided a modest employment boost.”

Moreover, Williams used these stats to refute claims that “there was no evidence that the enhanced benefits were restraining job growth.” He showed how states that eliminated or drastically reduced these benefits — “red states,” as Williams identifies them — saw lower unemployment rates and a better economic recovery than the "blue states" that kept the benefits in place. Williams concluded that “subsidizing unemployment leads to more of it.”

Granted, these conclusions are largely predictable, and any attempt to refute them foolhardy. Frequently, the enhanced benefits yielded higher pay than the jobs people held before the pandemic. And as far back as April 2020, many employers were claiming how pandemic unemployment assistance was complicating “efforts to reopen business.”

Quite frankly, if people were making more for doing nothing than going to work, there would be little incentive to seek employment.

 

Washington Examiner Videos

Replay Video

Tags: Opinion, Beltway Confidential, Biden, federal spending, Unemployment, Coronavirus

Original Author: Christopher Tremoglie

Original Location: Shocking study: People work less when you pay them not to work

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Washington Examiner

Washington Examiner
Washington Examiner
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon