How to Get the Unemployed Back to Work

Claudia Sahm in Bloomberg:

Concern that something is holding back U.S. workers from taking jobs along with anecdotes from employers having trouble hiring has accelerated a trend among state governors to end federal enhancements to jobless benefits this month — three months earlier than Congress intended. The goal is to get people off government benefits and back to work. It’s doubtful this policy change alone will be enough to meet employers’ hiring needs.

Some 7.6 million fewer people were employed in April than February 2020. But even with about 130 million Americans fully vaccinated, the number of workers is unlikely to rise rapidly. Government data show that only 1.4 million are on temporary layoff, down from the almost 17 million in the early months of the pandemic last year and a small fraction of the missing workers. The “low-hanging fruit” of easily recalling laid-off workers is basically gone.

Muted Recovery

There are far fewer “missing workers” on temporary layoff now than early in Covid crisis

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


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