The Guardian

Is a $300 unemployment boost holding back jobs? Yes and no

Tensions are flaring over a $300 supplement to weekly unemployment benefits. A weaker-than-expected April jobs report has led to outcry in some circles that the payments are fueling a labor shortage. The extra aid offers an incentive for laid-off workers to stay home, critics contend, making it hard for businesses to hire. Others think factors like child care and the coronavirus play a primary role in hiring difficulties. The truth is likely somewhere is the middle, according to economists.

“It’s getting much harder to hire than in the recent past, by the sheer acceleration of job creation,” according to Ioana Marinescu, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice. “We have no commensurate acceleration in people looking for jobs.”