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The programs are often “overlooked” by the public as options, the White House said on Monday.
The Biden government highlighted them as an advantage for employers and employees: sick companies can reinstate workers part-time and workers do not have to cut wages to return to work.
“Many jobs don’t bring people back 40 hours a week,” said Michele Evermore, senior unemployment insurance policy advisor at the Department of Labor. “They bring people back three nights a week.”
The US economy created 266,000 jobs in April – much weaker than the 1 million expected.
Republicans and corporate groups have cited the Miss as evidence that higher unemployment benefits will put workers out of circulation.
Democrats and the White House say there is no evidence that unemployment benefits cause labor shortages. Other factors – such as childcare obligations and a virus that is still widespread – are to blame, it is said.
Companies may find it easier to hire employees when they can offer a $ 300 weekly “bonus” on top of their part-time salaries, Houseman said.
“This is one way of giving workers that weekly bonus and making the federal government pay for it,” she said.
However, there are many limitations.
Within the past week, four states announced that they would end their participation in federal unemployment programs in June instead of September.
The states – Arkansas, Montana, Mississippi, and South Carolina – are run by Republican governors. Others can join their ranks.
Workers receiving short-term unemployment benefits or partial unemployment in these states would not receive the additional $ 300 after June.
In addition, rules that apply to any program may limit availability for some workers.
For example, only 27 states have short-term compensation programs available to workers. Even then, such programs are employer-oriented: a company applies for benefits on behalf of its employees.
All states offer partial unemployment benefit and workers apply for the benefit.
However, partial unemployment benefit generally requires a more substantial reduction in working hours (compared to short-term allowance) in order for an individual to be eligible.
According to federal law, employees’ working hours must be reduced by at least 10% and no more than 60% in order to qualify for short-term compensation programs. However, states can enact tighter bands.
A larger reduction would generally qualify someone for partial unemployment benefits, Houseman said.
“You’d have to be brought back very part-time to qualify,” said Houseman.
But there’s no hard and fast rule as eligibility varies from state to state, as is the case with division of labor programs, Houseman said.
The Biden government is urging states to relax their eligibility rules for partial unemployment benefits so that more people are qualified.
“States can improve the capacity of a partial UI by increasing the income threshold at which workers can both work and receive some UI benefits, and the Department of Labor will encourage states to do so,” the White House said Monday.
The federal government is also fully funding the benefits that are paid through work-sharing programs until September 6th. This could lead to more states offering them.