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Biden urges to boost wages for employers but warns workers they'll lose unemployment pay if they reject jobs

Biden urges to boost wages for employers but warns workers

May 12, 2021: -On Monday, President Joe Biden urged U.S. companies to boost the wages for workers as he outlined the steps to spur hiring after disappointing job creation in April.

The president said his administration would distribute the coronavirus relief funds included in Democrats’ aid plan of $1.9 trillion as reopening businesses search for employees.

The federal government plans to allow state and local governments to apply for part of a $350 billion relief pool, push to streamline the distribution of aid to child care centers and start sending grants to 16,000 struggling restaurants and bars, among other efforts.

Biden said the White House does not “see much evidence” that the $300 each week federal unemployment benefit in place till September has deterred people from taking jobs, adding that “Americans want to work.”

The president put the onus on employers who accept federal relief to offer good pay, protect the workers from the virus and encourage people vaccination so Americans feel comfortable taking jobs.

“I expect that as our economy will return, these companies will provide fair wages and safe work environments,” Biden said at the White House.  Biden downplayed the slow growth, saying the economy is “moving in the right direction.”

Yet, the disappointing data showed the need to increase vaccinations against Covid-19 and pass his infrastructure and economic recovery plans, Biden said. Democrats have said parts of his proposals, which include provisions to expand affordable child care and paid leave, will make parents accept jobs easier.

On Monday, Increasing child care capacity, reopening schools, and boosting the rate of vaccinations should help to mitigate hiring issues, Biden said.

On Monday, the White House fact sheet released said, “workers may not turn down a job due to a general, non-specific concern about the coronavirus pandemic and continue to receive benefits.”

People could reject an offer and keep receiving unemployment if they have a child at home who cannot go to school because of the coronavirus, the administration said.

As Democrats draft economic recovery legislation and Biden prepares for negotiations with Republicans, the president’s plans may not get through Congress for weeks or months. The White House may also have to scale back the proposals to win approval in the Capitol, even under special budget rules that would require only Democratic votes.

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