Kansas GOP Delegation Calls on Gov. Kelly to Halt Increased Unemployment Benefits and Get Kansans Back to Work
(Washington, D.C., May 17, 2021) – Today, U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, M.D. and Jerry Moran, as well as U.S. Representatives Ron Estes, Jake LaTurner, and Tracey Mann sent a letter to Governor Laura Kelly calling on her to help get Kansans back to work and halt the increased federal unemployment benefits brought on by President Biden and the Democrats. Earlier this year, Democrats forced through legislation without any Republican support that provided an additional $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits, in turn making it more profitable for many Americans to stay unemployed. The letter follows the release of the dismal Department of Labor (DOL) report showing an uptick in the unemployment rate to 6.1% and employers only adding 266,000 jobs last month, despite widespread projections of over one million jobs to be gained in April.
In part, the Kansas GOP delegation letter reads:
“Across the state, we’re hearing more and more from businesses searching for the employees they need to reopen yet struggling to make hires due to the generous benefits offered through the unemployment system…The extension of the generous $300 per week in additional federal benefits until September, when coupled with the extended state benefits, provides a lucrative government incentive to stay home despite clear signs that the economy is recovering and life is trending toward normal…We must end the federal incentive to stay home so that we can truly reopen the economy, provide Kansans with meaningful and purposeful work, and get our country back to normal.”
You may click HERE to read the letter in its entirety.
Last week, Senator Marshall introduced the Get Americans Back to Work Act, whichdecreases the federal unemployment benefits to $150 per week at the end of May, and then fully repeals them out at the end of June. The legislation is bicameral legislation in partnership with U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (SD). Senators Marsha Blackburn (TN), Mike Braun (IN), John Cornyn (TX), Kevin Cramer (ND), Ted Cruz (TX), Steve Daines (MT), Joni Ernst (IA), Lindsey Graham (SC), Mike Rounds (SD), Marco Rubio (FL), Rick Scott (FL), Tim Scott (SC), John Thune (SD), and Tommy Tuberville (AL) have signed on as cosponsors. Senator Marshall spoke at a press conference about his legislation and called on Governor Kelly to halt the increased benefits. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s remarks.
U.S. hiring takes big step back as businesses scramble for workers, raw materials (Reuters) The Labor Department’s closely watched employment report on Friday, which showed a plunge in temporary help jobs – a harbinger for future hiring – as well as decreases in manufacturing, retail and courier services employment, sparked a heated debate about the generosity of unemployment benefits. The enhanced jobless benefits, including a government-funded $300 weekly supplement, pay more than most minimum wage jobs. The benefits were extended until early September as part of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 pandemic relief package approved in March. Montana and South Carolina are ending government-funded pandemic unemployment benefits for residents next month… That left employment 8.2 million jobs below its peak in February 2020. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged the government to scrap the weekly unemployment subsidy, but the White House dismissed complaints the generous unemployment checks were causing worker shortages.
Millions Are Unemployed. Why Can’t Companies Find Workers? (WSJ) …Domino’s Pizza Chief Executive Richard Allison said last week that the labor market right now in the U.S. is creating the most difficult staffing environment the company has seen in a long time. “The real pinch point in the business is drivers,” he said on the company’s earnings conference call… Under relief bills passed by Congress, those receiving jobless benefits get an additional $300 a week on top of regular state benefits, which average $318 a week, according to the Labor Department. That means the average unemployment recipient earns better than the equivalent of working full time at $15 an hour. Those enhanced benefits are available until September, for a maximum of nearly 18 months—about three times longer than most states typically allow.
New homes cost $36,000 more because of an epic shortage of lumber (KAKE) … Chesson said his company would love to build more homes to meet surging demand but currently it can’t find the materials, or labor, to do so. “It’s absolutely contributing to a shortage of housing,” he said… The lumber shortage is just the latest example of how the rapid economic recovery from the pandemic is pushing supply chains to the limit. Manufacturers are desperate for workers. Smartphone, auto and appliance production is being sidelined by a shortage of computer chips. And the lack of tanker truck drivers has raised the specter of gas stations running on empty this summer.
Montana to Feds: No More No-Work Bonus (WSJ) The economy is roaring back as government lockdowns finally end, and employers are struggling to find workers. Enter Montana with a novel idea: telling the feds that it doesn’t want their extra payments for not working….Montana’s smart move proves again that Congress did far more harm than good with its bonus jobless benefit, and it could help the job market recover faster by repealing it.
Restaurants, hotels face staff shortages, struggle to hire as business returns (KOMO News) After a devastating year struggling to survive during the pandemic, many hotels and restaurants now face a new challenge – they can’t find help… Some people aren’t going back to work because they can’t find child care. Others are counting on extended unemployment benefits. “There are continued unemployment extension benefits that are at least significant enough to give people room to reconsider their career,” said Hirschler. “People are being more choosy than ever when it comes to where they are going to work – whether that’s to fulfill some sort of obligation they might have with the unemployment office, as they return to the labor force, or maybe they’re just job seeking to continue their benefits, or it’s they’re going to be very particular about the place they choose to work,” said Krueger. “Regardless, it’s yielding the same result, which is people are not sticking around to inquire about a job that we ultimately hire.”
Why Your Grocery Bills Are Going Up (And Are Only Expected to Get Bigger) (Foundation for Economic Education) …Other producers in the agriculture sector have struggled to obtain the workers needed to ramp up production. Across the country, small businesses have been unable to attract Americans back to the workplace as many remain on increased unemployment benefits that pay more than work…
High trucking costs are expected to last through 2021, adding to retailers’ challenges (Business Insider) … Rising freight costs have been a problem since last year. At the time, trucking companies began offering huge wage increases to attract drivers to the industry. The lack of drivers has since been complicated by a semi-conductor shortage keeping new trucks from coming on the market, the Journal said.