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Texas Gov. Abbott defends the decision to end the Covid unemployment boost: 'It is time for America to get back to work.'

Texas Gov. Abbott defends the decision to end Covid unemployment boost

June 01, 2021: -On Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott defended his decision to end his state’s federal unemployment boost after thousands of people signed a petition asks the Republican official to reverse his move.

“We have the demand for the workforce where people can get back to work, and the numbers are safe enough in our state for people to get back to work,” Abbott said on CNBC.

“It is time for America to get back to work,” the Republican governor said.

Abbott announced, effective June 26, the state would opt out of federal unemployment assistance programs that were signed into law to reduce the economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

Those programs include a $300 weekly federal supplement to state unemployment benefits. Around 23 states have curtailed their use of federal unemployment programs.

“According to the Texas Workforce Commission, we have more job openings than we have people on unemployment insurance. And on that, 18% of the unemployment that has been filed have proven to be fraudulent,” Abbott said.

An Americans support state efforts to end the federal unemployment boost, a Quinnipiac University poll found.

In Texas, the decision has caused blowback from those who say the end to extra assistance will further pain those suffering. A petition calling for Abbott to reverse his move has gained about 8,000 signatures.

On Friday, Abbott said that ending the federal boost was crucial to open the state entirely.

“The biggest challenge that I hear from employers is that Texas is open 100%, are trying to hire. However, restaurants and stores and other types of businesses aren’t able to open up as they want to because they cannot access to the employees they need to open up,” he said.

“So, one of the biggest challenges is to make sure that the employers can get the employees there so we truly can be a fully open economy,” Abbott added.

Economists are not sure whether the federal unemployment boost is causing potential workers to be unemployed for longer.

A working paper published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco suggested that the $300 boost could have a small impact on job searchers’ willingness to accept job offers.

President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has said it’s unbelievable the $300 boost is causing individuals to turn down jobs.

 

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