The country’s extended unemployment benefits at the state and federal levels are now being blamed for many Americans’ unwillingness to go back to work. Employers nationwide are now experiencing a worker shortage and Wawa has even announced it is closing some stores temporarily until they can train thousands of new employees.
Joe Biden claims that Americans collecting unemployment cannot turn down work if offered to them.
“If you’re receiving unemployment benefits and you’re offered a suitable job, you can’t refuse that job and just keep getting unemployment benefits,” Biden said.
That’s not true if you live in New Jersey because the state does not require proof of employment search as a requirement for collecting unemployment any longer.
In New Jersey, Murphy this week said the exact opposite when asked when out-work New Jerseyans will have to start notifying the state of their jobs search, which has been on hold since the pandemic began.
Murphy said he doesn’t know when, or if the state will again begin requiring proof of job searching as a requirement to collect unemployment benefits. He was even in denial that businesses are struggling to fill jobs because workers are getting paid more by the government to stay home.
“A couple of reactions, the overwhelming number of folks who have been unemployed, and had been impacted by this pandemic have suffered greatly. So, that’s the fact. I’m not denying the anecdotal or even more than anecdotal evidence that folks are having a hard time hiring people because we hear it regularly ourselves, but the overwhelming amount of folks who have been hit economically and particularly with job loss in this pandemic have suffered enormously. And so, the benefits overwhelmingly are needed for them and for their families,” Murphy said. “Secondly, it’s a passing reality, this is not going to be the case forever. These benefits are not forever and always. And so, it is a temporary, I’m not suggesting it is not real, but it is, I believe, temporary. I saw my friend, I have not spoken to him, but I saw my friend Tim McLoone, who owns 10 New Jersey restaurants. And I think if I read the article right, he has plans to open three more this summer, which is good for him, in the face of all this. He is going to pay all non-tip, according to this article, all non-tipped employees $15 an hour.”
Murphy told businesses if they want to compete with the state’s unemployment wages, they have to offer workers more money.
“So, my sense is that that’s probably one way that folks will get around this. And my guess is in fairness, they’ll probably pass that on. So, the burger is going to be an extra 50 cents or 75 cents, whatever it might be. And that’s probably a reality right now, some amount of inflation feels inevitable. We’ve had no plans to institute either the proof to us you’re looking for work, or do we have any plans? And I know that we won’t pulling the 300, I didn’t see that Nevada had done that, that that – no plans to do either of those,” he said.