WASHINGTON— Today’s employment report marks the third straight month of better-than-expected growth, with 1.8 million new and returned jobs, and the unemployment rate declining to 10.2%. Rachel Greszler, a research fellow in Heritage’s Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, released the following response:
While there is still a ways to go in getting Americans safely back to work, continued signs of recovery demonstrate why public health—not more ‘stimulus’—should be the focus.
Congress can’t force people to spend money at restaurants, hotels, or on airlines if they don’t yet feel comfortable doing so, and the enormous increase in household savings along with a $1.5 trillion rise in personal disposable income between April and June suggests that what Americans need most is not more government spending but rather the ability to safely return to work and schools.
Americans appear ready and willing to get back to work. Policymakers should be focusing on fostering environments that provide ample job opportunities and rising incomes for all Americans. Instead of delaying the recovery and reducing employment by continuing to send blanket $600 unemployment checks into next year, policymakers should provide better-targeted supports that replace a portion of workers’ incomes, and which automatically taper off.
In a recent CNN Business op-ed, Greszler makes the case for how a targeted federal match of state unemployment benefits is better suited to support unemployed Americans without delaying economic recovery and pushing America further towards fiscal collapse.