Why Aren’t People Returning To Work?

(STL.News) With the COVID-19 pandemic winding down, people expect Americans to return to work within the next few months.  However, the return to work isn’t happening as quickly as many would like.  In fact, America experienced a devastating job report miss last week. Now, politicians are debating why Americans are refusing to return to work.  Some argue that people aren’t going back to work because they’re getting more from unemployment benefits.  Others claim that they’re worried about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the truth?  Why are so many Americans staying home?

The Ongoing Debate

Right now, America is going through a resurgence after the COVID-19 pandemic. States are removing their COVID-19 lockdowns, and businesses are opening their doors.  Despite many states reopening, the unemployment rate in the United States is still incredibly high.  It is near 6% and climbed slightly higher during the latest jobs report.  According to the recent report, the national unemployment rate climbed from 6% to 6.1%.  Economists expected the number to go in the opposite direction, but this didn’t happen.

Now, governors are working swiftly to rectify the problem and get people back to work.  In April of 2021, it was revealed that more than 100 million people were not in the labor force.  Suffice to say; something needs to be done to resolve the problem before it has a negative impact on America’s recovery.

Unemployment Boost

According to Republican politicians, people are staying home because they’re getting paid more from unemployment insurance.  Right now, the federal government is providing unemployed Americans with a $300 weekly unemployment boost.  As a result, some unemployed individuals are getting more money from unemployment than they would while working a part-time or full-time job.  In addition to this, people can stay at home and reap the benefits.  Why would someone go to work if they could make more money sitting at home?

According to some Republicans, this is the main reason people are not returning to work.  As a result, some states are announcing ends to the federal unemployment benefits.  People are using their money to play at an Internet casino, but others are paying for bills and mortgages.  Regardless, several states have confirmed that they would be ended the federal benefit within months.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said her state would stop participating in the program on June 12.  Other states following the move include South Carolina, Tennessee, Montana, Missouri, and others.  In addition to this, state governors require unemployed individuals to search for jobs.  They will need to provide proof that they’ve been trying to obtain a job.

The Ongoing Concerns

As for other Americans, it has more to do with health risks.  Some are worried that they’re going to get the coronavirus.  A lot of people in the United States have yet to get vaccinated against COVID-19.  As a result, workers are hesitant to return to work.  They’re concerned that they could develop the coronavirus and get sick.  Some have claimed that they’ll wait until more people get vaccinated before they return to work.

Ultimately, this is another reason so many Americans have yet to return to offices.  Thanks to this mindset, restaurants and other low-wage employers have experienced difficulty attempting to find new workers.  Even though they’re offering bonuses and higher pay, people are not returning to work.


Another issue is that some schools have not opened yet.  As a result, American parents have trouble finding someone to care for their children while they work.  Usually, schools were a good option.  These individuals could send their children to school to ensure they’re cared for while they work.  Unfortunately, schools are not reopening, so parents need to stay at home and care for their children.  Again, this is another reason why some Americans are staying home.

The Future

Unfortunately, America has hit a roadblock.  The recovery has stalled, and people are not returning to work.  Will eliminating the federal unemployment boost convince Americans to return to their jobs?  It might, but it is important to understand the devastating impact of shutting down the American economy.  Although some jobs will return, others will not.  During the pandemic, many businesses filed for bankruptcy and closed for good.  Those jobs will not be returning.  Those who do not get jobs early may not be able to find jobs later.