Unemployment expansion should be temporary, when this is over America needs to get back to work
April 20, 2020, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement on the expansion of unemployment benefits by Congress:
“The federal government will provide states billions of tax dollars to cover the dramatic increase in unemployment insurance costs. With an unprecedented 22 million people added to the unemployment rolls in the past four weeks, states are currently overrun, but it is important that future federal unemployment spending be linked to those unemployment offices’ success in getting people back to work. Too often, state unemployment offices serve merely as intermediary check dispensers to those who are unemployed, but in this new environment, with their knowledge of what jobs employees were laid off from, it is important that those states aggressively encourage workers to return to their jobs when they become available.
“The United States Labor Department has some very smart people in charge of the national unemployment system, and they know that in this crisis, it is critical to get people to return to work as soon as the economy re-opens. And they understand better than anyone that the federal government needs to incentivize state unemployment offices to encourage people to leave the system and return to work. Rather than rewarding those states with policies, which encourage dependency and discourage re-employment with additional funding, federal dollars should be focused upon assisting those programs and states which are most effectively lowering the unemployment rate. This is not accomplished by throwing people off the rolls, but instead by putting those agencies energies into restoring the now unemployed into the workforce. Our state workforce agencies know what jobs 22 million newly unemployed Americans lost, and truly serving their constituents means highlighting similar opportunities in their geographic area which open up as the economy restarts.
“America needs to get back to work, and by incentivizing state workforce agencies to succeed in getting people back to work, the U.S. Labor Department will be meeting it’s highest function. And if necessary, any new funding appropriated by Congress should incorporate incentive programs for states based upon their re-employment record. By doing this, America can rapidly rebound from this government induced depression-level unemployment crisis.”