Why Cutting Unemployment Aid Isn’t Filling America’s 9.2 Million Open Jobs

Criticism from the right regarding U.S. government aid to unemployed workers has intensified of late, with governors in some Republican-leaning states putting an early end to the extra $300 in weekly payments. Their stated intention was that more jobless Americans would look for work if they can’t count on the extra cash. But for some workers—especially parents with young children—barriers to re-entering the labor force remain, and the loss of those additional dollars is adding to their problems. 

On this week’s podcast, Bloomberg economics reporter Olivia Rockeman explains how a lack of childcare options is keeping many women out of the job market. Rather than abusing government aid, many came to rely on the payments while they searched for suitable employment. The U.S. economy had a record 9.2 million open jobs in May, and getting many of those positions filled will require helping working parents find someone to watch their kids. In a second segment, guest host and Bloomberg Chief Economist Tom Orlik explores the details and likely effects of President Joe Biden’s sweeping order aimed at promoting competition, with input from reporter Anna Edgerton and University of Tennessee College of Law Professor Maurice Stucke.

Finally, Vietnam-based economics reporter Nguyen Uyen explains why thousands of workers in the Asian export hub are sleeping on factory floors to keep production going during a Covid-19 surge.

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