$600 per week. Thatís what the federal government is now offering to people whoíve lost their jobs because of the coronavirus. For many workers and employers, that money is a godsend ó a way to keep food on the table while also cutting payroll costs.
But the extra money can create some awkward situations. Some businesses that want to keep their doors open say itís hard to do so when employees can make more money by staying home. We basically have this situation where it would be a logical choice for a lot of people to be unemployed.
With the federal government now offering $600 a week on top of the stateís unemployment benefits, a lot of former employees could make more money staying home than they did on the job. You also have to think, the benefit of not having to go to work, especially during a pandemic. Itís not that employers donít wish that they could pay employees at that level all the time. Most would always want to pay staff the best they possibly can. But to be put in a position where you canít compete with them being at home, unemployed. Itís really tricky. Itís a really difficult situation to be in. and Its going to make it hard for this nation to get back up and going.
Some Republican lawmakers warned about this unintended consequence of the relief bill when it was being drafted, noting that $600 a week amounts to $15 an hour, more than twice the federal minimum wage. Thatís in addition to state unemployment benefits, which vary widely, from a maximum of $235 per week in Mississippi to $795 per week in Massachusetts and Michigan.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the administration opted to provide a uniform federal unemployment benefit in order to get money out the door quickly. As it is, states have struggled to pay the benefit to the millions of newly unemployed people who are applying every week.