Restaurants Struggle to Rehire Workers Due to Government’s Unprecedented Pandemic Jobless Payments

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The $300 federal weekly jobless payment is currently added to state benefits as part of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act that he signed in March.

As states begin to ease indoor dining restrictions, the food service industry is having a hard time hiring employees, a difficulty owners blame in part on the disincentivizing effects of supercharged federal unemployment benefits, which are paid to individuals on top of their state benefits.

The federal benefit that Congress created in response to the coronavirus pandemic was $600 per week, which amounted to $15 per hour before state benefits were added in.

The number of workers eligible for jobless benefits expanded during the pandemic. For the first time, self-employed workers are also able to collect unemployment benefits.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said recently that the $600 weekly supplemental jobless benefits were “very, very hard for any employer to replicate.”