GREENSBORO, N.C. — In case you missed it, federal unemployment benefits have ended.
This week will be the first week without that added $300 benefit.
If a beneficiary was receiving $500 a week, with that federal benefit gone, that’s just $200 a week. Fewer unemployment benefits may seem like more of an incentive to go back into the job force.
“I think it's a lot more complicated. It's true when you stop the unemployment benefits you increase people's incentive to go out and find jobs, and for sure. There is a certain group of people that the benefit gave them more than what they made before they lost their job, but there are other wrinkles that come in to play,” said David Robinson, a finance professor at Duke's Fuqua School of Business
Experts like Robinson are looking at three main reasons the job market may not be flooded immediately.
#1 Studying for better jobs
Folks in minimum wage jobs used the benefits to put themselves through school to get a better job. Like Richard Escotto, who went from waiter to cyber security. He talked with CBS Sunday Morning.
“I'm thinking, I was, like scared, right? I don't feel you could take many chances when you have the kids and the family. It's very scary to take those chances, but I was like, 'I have to do something or else I'm going to get stuck here again and stuck in this way and I was like, 'this might be my only chance,'” Escotto said.
#2 Child care issues
While our area has gone back to school and no district has gone back to remote learning, a good portion of the nation goes back to school after Labor Day. There's a fear remote learning could return, leaving parents with few choices for childcare. In some places, child care has never bounced back making the return to consumer-based jobs more difficult.
#3 The rising Delta variant
Potential employees have concerns about COVID-19. Cases have jumped more than 1,000% since July Fourth.
"The idea of being close to hundreds of strangers a day, even while being vaccinated, that's not something that appeals to me in any way,” said Michael Kittle, who is losing his unemployment benefits.
Seven point five million people around the nation lost the federal unemployment weekly benefit. Will the experts be right about the expiring not making a huge dent in the businesses looking for workers? We will have to wait and see.
“That process takes time and while we're increasing the incentives to push people back into the working sector, it's not going to be like flipping a light switch,” Robinson said.