An Unemployment Pay Higher Than Minimum Wage is Killing the Economy

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Garrett Duncan, Contributor

Since the 2020 CARE act, people have been saying that extra Covid unemployment relief will only cause people to not work, or attempt to find a new job.  (Econo Fact)  However, many states have taken it too far.  With the new extra $400 a week in unemployment sent out from the Federal Government, states that already had high unemployment benefits are now paying people more than the minimum wage in unemployment.  (CNBC)

This means not having a job at all will make you more money than working in childcare jobs, janitorial jobs, delivery jobs, retail jobs, fast food jobs, and most restaurant jobs, because they all pay minimum wage.  (Chron)  This is a disaster waiting to happen. If people are paid more to not work these jobs (which are usually jobs you only take if you need to) then who is going to do them?

This (NPR) interview explains it pretty well.  It is an interview with a preschool teacher named Lainy Morse, who doesn’t want to go back to working because she makes more off of unemployment.  She is quoted as saying, “It’s terrible to say, but we’re all doing better now,” she says. “It’s hard to think about going back to work in this pandemic and getting paid less than we are right now when we’re safe and at home in quarantine.”  You can read the interview yourself here: (NPR).

It simply does not seem smart to pay people more if they work less.  In 2017, the amount of people being paid minimum wage in America was 542,000. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)  And don’t forget, anybody who was already unemployed is also getting paid this amount.  Giving people so much government money will not help the economy, and could lead people to lose their jobs on purpose, or to quit.  We all know that person who would decide not to work if they could.

So let us hope that after Covid this all goes back to normal, and the government figures out a way to pay for all the unemployment money they gave out during this time.