I am seeing a lot of anecdotal evidence of people playing the system when it comes to receiving unemployment benefits. We have been seeking to hire a part time worker. The person who we were pursuing turned us down because they do not want to jeopardize their unemployment benefits, and they already have a part time gig where they’re paid in cash. I know of another person looking for a full time sales job, while getting by on unemployment and bar tending. I think one of the reasons unemployment statistics seem so peculiar these days, during this broad based recovery period, is the reluctance of many unemployed workers to give up unemployment benefits, which can last two years and sometimes longer if they are in school.
Another reason for the funky numbers is that older men have apparently dropped out of the active labor force in droves. I know of several 50-somethings who have abandoned the job world and then retired or opted to start off-the-books cash enterprises. Others have taken early social security or part-time jobs.
The excruciating costs of benefits is restraining small business from hiring full time people. The availability of long term, almost endless unemployment benefits is a benevolent social safety net, but it is making the hiring game more confusing than ever.
Question: Should the length of unemployment benefits be cut?