Unemployment Figures for the U.S. Contrary to Analysts’ Expectations
At 8:30am today, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released updated unemployment figures for the U.S. Contrary to analysts’ expectations, the U.S. unemployment rate increased for the first time since April 2020 to 6.1%.
The Georgia Center for Opportunity’s (GCO) take: “The April numbers clearly show that, sometimes, government actions meant to help people have unintended consequences,” said Buzz Brockway, GCO’s vice president of public policy. “Expansive unemployment benefits have prompted many low-skilled workers to remain on the sidelines of the labor force, while continued school closures across the country have prevented many women from re-entering the labor force due to a lack of childcare options. Undoubtedly, many workers are still concerned about catching COVID-19. The reasons for these lackluster employment numbers are varied, but what we do know is that the system designed to help those in need during these troubling times is, in fact, incentivizing dependence. If we believe work is vital not only for a paycheck but for a sense of purpose and belonging in life, then we must prioritize helping people find work and then get the training needed to ‘upskill’ into better, higher paying jobs. That is the best path for recovery. That is a path that respects those in crisis.”