Labor Sec’y Walsh: Not Time to End Enhanced Jobless Benefits, Some without Jobs Worked in Industries That Are ‘Gone’

On Friday’s “CNN Newsroom,” Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said it’s not time to end the enhanced federal unemployment benefits, and that for some of the people out of work, “their work is gone. Their restaurants are gone. Their industry they worked in is gone. So, there is going to be a component of retraining, rescaling some workers to get them into some other industries here as we continue down this path.”

Co-host Jim Sciutto asked, “CNN did find that that extra federal payment means that some people actually make more on unemployment than they did in their lost jobs, perhaps estimates ranging from 25% to 40%. In your view, is it time to end that enhanced unemployment benefit nationally?”

Walsh responded, “No, and I don’t think I heard you say that when you looked at the numbers that we’re seeing that this additional $300, cutting it off, seeing more people go into the job market in those states. I mean, the thought process is that people aren’t going to work in those states because they get the $300, and now that some states have ended that $300, we’re not seeing more and more people go into the job market there. … But what we’re seeing is more and more people enter into the job market as we move forward. The number I’m looking at is the number of people that are vaccinated in those areas to see the increase in participation, number one. And the second thing is, you just brought up a great point, there [are] about six-plus million people still out of work. Some of those six million people, their work is gone. Their restaurants are gone. Their industry they worked in is gone. So, there is going to be a component of retraining, rescaling some workers to get them into some other industries here as we continue down this path.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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