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Job Openings Can't Be Filled Thanks To Unemployment Benefits

Benefit Programs
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EDITOR NOTE: We know that one unanticipated effect of the extended unemployment benefits was that people were making more money unemployed than they were while they were working. Such benefits, however, are neither sustainable nor reliable. But are some businesses finding it hard to employ people without significantly raising wages? In other words, are small businesses undergoing “wage inflation,” contrary to Jerome Powell’s thesis, the Fed chief who seems to be focusing on larger businesses rather than the smaller segments that comprise nearly half of the American economy? If so, as in the case of the McDonald’s franchise below, this tells us that inflation may be far more advanced than any of the Fed’s measures have shown. Home prices, commodity prices, and now wage inflation among small businesses? The Federal Reserve is truly out of touch with the average American. And yet their control over the American economy remains more or less unquestioned and unchallenged. In fact, with President Biden and Secretary Yellen, the Fed’s position has been bolstered; enhanced.

A McDonald’s franchise owner in Tampa, Florida, said he is paying people $50 just to show up for a job interview and is still struggling to find applicants.

Blake Casper, the franchisee who owns the McDonald’s location, told Business Insider that a general manager and supervisor created a plan for paying would-be employees to show up for the interview after telling them to “do whatever you need to do” to hire more workers.

“At this point, if we can’t keep our drive-thrus moving, then I’ll pay $50 for an interview,” said Casper, who owns 60 McDonald’s restaurants around Tampa.

Twitter users have uploaded photos of signs outside McDonald’s locations in the area advertising the move: “Get $50 for interview.”

The Epoch Times has contacted McDonald’s for comment.

Casper said that the enhanced federal unemployment benefits that were extended after Congress passed a sweeping pandemic relief bill may be contributing to the lack of people seeking jobs. Speculating further, he said that more businesses at the moment are looking to hire.

“It’s a perfect storm right now,” Casper said in the interview, published about a week ago.

“You’ve got a lot of people with a lot of money, and they’re out there shopping,” he added. “And then, on the flip side, we’re scrambling for help.”

Casper said that due to the labor shortage, he and other franchise operators are forced to raise wages for employees. He added that he’s considering allowing starting wages from $12 to $13, far above Florida’s minimum wage.

“The biggest challenge out there is the federal government and the state government are going to continue with this unemployment, because that is truly creating the incentive to not work right now,” Casper added, echoing concerns voiced by GOP lawmakers last year about prior pandemic bills. “And, how do you blame somebody? You can make more money on unemployment—and so, we’ve got to be at least above that.”

The National Federation of Independent Business group said that a survey found that 42 percent of small businesses have said they had job openings they couldn’t fill, also blaming the expanded unemployment benefits for the phenomenon.

“Owners continue to have difficulty finding qualified workers to fill jobs as they compete with increased unemployment benefits and the pandemic keeping some workers out of the labor force,” according to the survey. “A net 28 percent of owners reported raising compensation (up three points) and the highest level in the past 12 months.”

It added, “A net 17 percent plan to raise compensation in the next three months, down two points. Seven percent of owners cited labor costs as their top business problem and 24 percent said that labor quality was their top business problem. Finding eligible workers to fill open positions will become increasingly difficult for small business owners.”

Originally posted on Epoch Times

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