President Joe Biden has announced his administration will not allow people on unemployment benefits to turn down offers for a “suitable job.”
“We’re going to make it clear that anyone who is collecting unemployment who is offered a suitable job must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits," Biden said on Monday, although he stressed there would be "a few COVID-19 related exceptions" so people "aren't forced to choose between their basic safety and a paycheck."
Essentially, if you’re getting $300 weekly unemployment benefits, which are scheduled to last until September, you’ll have to accept a job offer when it comes along or risks losing those benefits. Despite his comments and his administration’s stance on unemployment, he said that these expanded benefits are not to blame for the lack of job growth this April. “Americans want to work,” he continued.
“No one should be allowed to game the system and we’ll insist the law is followed but let’s not take our eye off the ball,” he said. “We need to stay focused on the real problems in front of us—beating this pandemic and creating jobs."
In a press release, the White House confirmed the Labor Department will send letters to states this week to “reaffirm that individuals receiving UI may not continue to receive benefits if they turn down a suitable job due to a general, non-specific concern about COVID-19." There will be exceptions if the workplace does not comply with federal and state COVID-19 regulations, and those with dependents will not have their benefits taken away, either.
Despite slow job growth in April, CNN reports that Biden said the country has added 1.5 million jobs since he took office. “So let's be clear, our economic plan is working," he said. "I never said, and no serious analyst ever suggested, that climbing out of the deep, deep hole our economy was in would be simple, easy, immediate or perfectly steady."