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As I See It

With extra benefits ending will help wanted signs come down soon?



The signs continue to declare “help wanted.” It remains a struggle for businesses in nearly every sector to attract workers. Will that change soon? The federal government’s lifeline of an extra $300 in weekly unemployment benefits will come to an end this Saturday. Some say that federal help, along with state unemployment insurance benefits, made it more attractive for people to remain unemployed during the pandemic, when they could sometimes make as much by not working as they could punching the clock. They predict that when the federal benefit ends, more people will be eager to get back to work. But will they? Or will that prediction fall short because deciding where, or even if they go back to work depends on so many factors. Some former employees are reevaluating what they want in a job and may no longer be willing to work for two bucks an hour plus tips. Things like scheduling flexibility, sick days and child care have become more important in determining a person’s employment status. We will soon learn if the increased unemployment benefits were keeping people from rejoining the workforce, of if the shift in what we want out of a job has become more than just how big the paycheck is.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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