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U.S. Student Visa Biden
US President Joe Biden

How US unemployed shun jobs for Biden’s new expanded benefits

Reports have emerged that US President Joe Biden’s expanded unemployment benefits are keeping Americans from taking new jobs.

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But Biden has rejected criticism and said any unemployed American offered a “suitable” job must take it, or risk losing unemployment benefits.

Companies like Chipotle raised its average hourly pay on Monday to $15 to entice job candidates among 9.8 million unemployed last month.

Economists had predicted from 900,000 to 2 million jobs. Yet there are 7.4m unfilled positions, according to the US labour department.

Biden said “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.” 

Recalled, under the $1.9tn (£1.35tn) coronavirus rescue package that Mr Biden signed into law in March, certain workers can get a $300 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit. The increased benefits are due to last until September.

Speaking Monday, Mr Biden said “I know there’s been a lot of discussion since Friday’s report that people are being paid to stay home, rather than go to work.

“Well, we don’t see much evidence of that. That is a major factor. We don’t see that, look, it’s easy to say, the line has been, because of the generous unemployment benefits, that it’s a major factor in labour shortages.”

According to BBC, a recent Bank of America analyst note said that Americans who earned less than $32,000 before the pandemic would be better off for now collecting a combination of state and federal unemployment benefits, rather than working. The average US salary is around $32,000.

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