Critical during outbreak: Keeping employers & employees connected

Friday, March 20, 2020
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

restaurant serverThe number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased 70,000 last week to the highest level in more than two years. The problem may only get worse – and how the federal government should respond is another issue entirely.

Rachel Greszler is a research fellow in economics, budget, and entitlements for The Heritage Foundation. She suggests the focus for policymakers now needs to be on keeping people employed and maintaining that attachment to the labor force.

"Because prior to this crisis, unemployment was at a record low, the economy was strong, the labor market was strong, [and] there were more jobs out there than there were people looking for work," notes Greszler. "While this crisis is significant and there are major health implications, it doesn't need to be a long-term economic crisis."

If that connection between employees and employers can be maintained, then Greszler says coming out of this crisis is going to look a lot better than if that connection vanishes and people lose their job, draw unemployment, and lose their health care coverage.

"We know that the longer people are out of work, the lower their opportunities are going forward both for the types of jobs that they can get and the amount of income that they can get," Greszler continues. "So, we just really want to keep that connection there – and that might mean … using taxpayer dollars to pay [employees] what would have been their incomes while they're at home, whether it's with children or quarantining or if they just had their hours reduced."

Members of the Trump administration are open to the idea of sending checks of varying amounts to Americans in general as a way of helping them cover their expenses. Greszler admits she's not a fan of that approach.

Greszler

"Sending blanket checks across-the-board to people doesn't do much to target those [expenses] because you have plenty of people who are still employed – maybe they're working remotely, but they still have income coming in; they might not have children who are home; or they're retirees who are still getting Social Security checks and pensions [and who] don't necessarily need a $1,000 or a $3,000 check," says the researcher.

"On the other hand, you have people who are completely laid off or who have had their hours cut significantly or they've had to stop work entirely because they're watching children and $1,000 is not going to cut it for more than a week or two," Greszler concludes.

"So, we need to better target whatever money it is that we're going to send," Greszler concludes, "and I think the best way to do that is to tie it to what your income was so that you can maintain your level of living that you were previously prior to any disruption that has taken place."

Read Rachel Greszler's recent article:
"Coronavirus increasing unemployment – here's now to help workers and their employers"

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

FEATURED PODCAST

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Your reaction to the positive job numbers released on Friday?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Citing jobs, Trump claims victory over virus, econ collapse
Black cops feel pain of Floyd's death, duty to their uniform
Mail ballots from Tuesday's election push Biden over the top
Black Lives Matter rallies start in Australia amid court ban
Goodell says NFL was wrong for not listening to players
Unemployment rate falls to 13.3%, US adds 2.5 million jobs
Detained US Navy veteran freed by Iran as part of deal

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Drew Brees sends a message to President Trump about his comments on kneeling protests
Maxine Waters freaks out: Remove Trump 'before this would-be dictator takes us all down'
Trump hits PBS' Yamiche Alcindor for asking how '.1 percent' increase in black unemployment is a 'victory'
4 reasons the 'collective culpability' racket is dangerous
The black and white of 'systemic racism'

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Pork-filled relief bill left out non-profits

cash 100-dollar billThe head of a pro-Israel ministry says it is outrageous that Democrats were able to shove some of their left-wing pork projects into the coronavirus relief package.