NFIB State Director Dawn Starns McVea released the following statement today on House Bill 183, legislation that includes an amendment that would increase the state’s weekly unemployment benefit even as small businesses and other employers are struggling to find workers:
“This is bad legislation that would make a bad situation even worse.
“Job openings across the state far outnumber job applicants, in part because the temporary federal pandemic-related unemployment supplement is discouraging some people from reentering the workforce. Most states have taken decisive action to address this problem by ending the federal supplement early, but this amendment does the opposite.
“And even though the increase wouldn’t kick in until 2022, it would put a big financial strain on Louisiana’s unemployment trust fund, which is still recovering from the massive payouts it made during the worst months of the pandemic when people were losing their jobs and hardly anyone was hiring.
“Increasing the weekly unemployment benefits would discourage more workers from applying for jobs, and that would make it even harder for shops, restaurants, and other businesses to meet the growing needs of their customers. Last spring, businesses had to operate at reduced capacity because of COVID-19. Today, many businesses are operating at reduced capacity because they can’t find enough people to work.
“That’s why our members are urging their legislators to vote ‘no’ on the amended version of H.B. 183.”