U.S. Sen. Rob Portman: Don’t create an incentive to avoid working

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 18, 2021

According to the most recent Labor Department data released just this week at the end of March, we have 8.1 million job openings in America.

(…) With that demand for workers and the coronavirus pandemic substantially improving, the employment numbers should be skyrocketing. (…)

If you ask business owners in my home state of Ohio and across the country they will all tell you the same story, ‘Business is booming, but we can’t find workers.’ (…)

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We need to draw down the federal unemployment supplement funded by the COVID-19 stimulus that passed in March. It’s time to look at ending this, not on Sept. 6, as it’s currently slated to end, but now, while the economy is strong and growing, while we’re trying to get people back to work. As I said, it’s a rational economic decision for many people right now to collect an unemployment check that effectively pays you upwards of $15 an hour to stay at home and not work, but makes no sense to keep the supplement in place as we are reopening and the focus is on shifting toward getting the economy back up and running.
— Excerpts from Senate floor remarks on Thursday

Rob Portman is a Republican and the junior U.S. senator representing Ohio.