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After shock U.S. jobs data, Republicans and Democrats spar over unemployment benefits

EconomyMay 07, 2021 04:56PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A "We're Hiring" sign advertising jobs is seen at the entrance of a restaurant, as Miami-Dade County eases some of the lockdown measures put in place during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Miami, Florida, U.S., May 18, 2020. RE

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - What did the disappointing U.S. jobs report on Friday say about the state of the world's biggest economy?

As is true for many things in Washington, the answer differs radically depending on which political party you ask.

The Labor Department reported 266,000 new jobs were created in April, a fraction of the nearly 1 million jobs that were expected by a Reuters poll of economists. A drop in temporary help positions put a fresh focus on the generous unemployment benefits that the White House has championed as necessary to keep Americans financially whole as the country recovers from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many Republicans say the disappointing employment report signals that governments at the federal and state levels are being too generous with unemployment benefits, discouraging people from working. Democrats say companies aren't offering high-enough wages, or programs like subsidized childcare to encourage people to go back to work.

"The government pays people big bucks NOT to work so they don’t!," U.S. Representative Mo Brooks, a Republican from Alabama, wrote on Twitter. "DUH! Socialism seems nice but in fact is destructive. America: learn or lose!"

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, an ally of former President Donald Trump who is jockeying to replace fellow Republican Liz Cheney in the party's leadership in the House of Representatives, blamed the jobs figure on "socialist unemployment benefits," saying many small businesses in her New York state district had told her they could not find enough workers.

In a move that could be replicated in other Republican-led states, Montana and South Carolina are ending federal pandemic unemployment benefits pushed by Democratic President Joe Biden for residents next month, saying they are stopping people from working.

Representative Ro Khanna of California and other Democrats blamed companies for not offering to pay workers more.

"Wages have not risen yet and part of the reason people aren't getting back in is that wages haven't adjusted," Khanna told MSNBC, calling on Congress to pass legislation that would more than double the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Khanna also said more support for child care was needed to get women back into the workforce.

"The disappointing April jobs report highlights the urgent need to pass President Biden’s American Jobs and Families Plans," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said in a statement, referring to the White House's proposals for about $4 trillion in additional spending on infrastructure, education and other priorities.

The Biden administration's new spending proposals include adding more government-funded childcare, and free universal pre-Kindergarten nationwide.

After shock U.S. jobs data, Republicans and Democrats spar over unemployment benefits
 

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Comments (8)
Investing Man
Investing Man May 10, 2021 11:32PM ET
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Bidens comment that if they can get work then they will be required or lose benefits is good.
Catholic Man
CatholicMan May 10, 2021 11:32PM ET
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Backtracking after his welfare plan is failing.
Catholic Man
CatholicMan May 09, 2021 7:25PM ET
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democrats will just ignore the data
Tru Gfu
Tru Gfu May 07, 2021 5:34PM ET
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Republican plan, reduce all safety net so people are so desperate they will work for $7 and pay most of it for childcare
Catholic Man
CatholicMan May 07, 2021 5:34PM ET
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I think the data clearly shows you are wrong.
Investing Man
Investing Man May 07, 2021 5:34PM ET
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The south never wanted to lose slaves. They are working very hard to recreate the
Kevin Eddlemon
Kevin Eddlemon May 07, 2021 4:04PM ET
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Democrats solution: More Communism !!!
carol ruszin
carol ruszin May 07, 2021 4:04PM ET
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You must of ment Trump. Russia lover.
Joseph Biden
Joseph Biden May 07, 2021 3:28PM ET
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Who would want to work? I am giving people free welfare handouts so they can live in lazy poverty. I am Joseph Biden, if you ask me for ID then you are racist.
Larson Leyson
Larson Leyson May 07, 2021 3:23PM ET
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Just wait until the debt ceiling is reached and they need us GOP to help avoid gov shutdown by spending more tax payers money!  I'll laugh a lot of spendy Joe!
Joseph Biden
Joseph Biden May 07, 2021 3:21PM ET
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Hello, I am Joseph Biden. I am here to vote. If you ask me for ID then you are a racist.
dominique mante
dominique mante May 07, 2021 3:00PM ET
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My father is from Cuba and he says that the politicians, schools, media, elections, currency, etc all remind him of the types of changes that happened under Castro. I feel really bad for the people in the U.S. who actually work and pay tax and want to prosper under capitalism, but instead are being held down under the weight of socialistic platforms that destroy nations and turn them into the same type of management as the third world. People use to flee to the U.S. for opportunity. now they flee there for welfare handouts.
Catholic Man
CatholicMan May 07, 2021 3:00PM ET
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Correct, dementia joe and monster harris have no experience or interest in helping US citizens.
 
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