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Remember when Democrats and the activist media were denying the reality that enhanced unemployment benefits were a major contributor to the unemployment rate? Those were good times, amirite?
Anyone with a modicum of common sense knew the denials coming out of the White House and Democratic Party were about as absurd as pineapple on pizza. Nevertheless, they persisted despite the fact that they weren’t fooling anyone who didn’t already want to be fooled.
Conservatives and Republicans rightly pointed out that many were refusing to go back to work as the pandemic waned because they were being paid more to stay home and get their money’s worth out of their couches. Indeed, small businesses suffered due to having limited staff. Some companies offered payouts to people simply for coming in for an interview.
Democrats insisted that the high jobless numbers were due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic and continued school closures. While these certainly played a part, many rightly pointed out that the impact of unemployment benefits could not be so easily dismissed given that it was likely the chief reason in many states.
Late last month, the trajectory of jobless numbers seemed to bear out the idea that the enhanced government welfare scheme was to blame for higher rates of unemployment. The Wall Street Journal reported that the number of people using unemployment benefits fell “at a faster rate in Missouri and 21 other states” that canceled the enhanced federal benefits.
But now, new data is further illustrating what many already knew: As more states get rid of the enhanced welfare payments, people would go back to work. The Department of Labor published a report last week showing that continuing claims for benefits dropped for the second week in a row in the week ending July 3.
Continuing claims are those that are made after the initial filing for unemployment benefits. In this week, the numbers fell by 126,000. The week before, claims fell by about 117,000. Breitbart News noted:
The decline brought continuing claims down to 3,241,000, the lowest level since March 21, 2020 when it was 3,094,000.
The four-week moving average, which smooths out week-to-week volatility, fell 71,750 to 3,376,000, the lowest level for this average since March 21, 2020, when it was 2,071,750.
About two dozen states, the majority of which are led by Republican governors or right-leaning state legislatures, terminated their federal unemployment benefits earlier than the Sept. 5 deadline. The left has attempted to push back through the court system. Breitbart News noted that federal courts in Indiana and Maryland ordered state governments to keep paying the federal unemployment benefits, which amount to an extra $300 per week.
Not only has the government welfare program slowed a much-needed economic rebound and kept people out of work, but there is also evidence that it has contributed to the record number of drug overdose deaths that occurred last year. The problems go far beyond jobless numbers.
Still, despite the left’s best efforts to ensure that more people remain dependent on the government, it appears more states will begin easing off the federal dole as they realize the importance of getting people back to work. It seems the Democrats might need to concoct new ideas to encourage more Americans to become reliant on the state.