A Democrat from New York refused to keep supporting pandemic welfare programs because the state overspent taxpayer money.
Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) claims struggling Americans will receive no further federal unemployment payments after they officially ended on Sept. 5.
The governor blamed the state budget deficit, federal regulations and state law limitations for preventing financial relief from reaching those who need it most.
“Our unemployment system was so overtaxed last year and a half that we now have an $11 billion deficit, and the state law does not allow us to allocate any increase in resources as long as there is a deficit,” she said according to the New York Post.
For the past 18 months unemployment benefits have helped millions of laid-off or furloughed employees avoid financial ruin. However, an estimated 7.5 million people will suddenly lose their benefits because federally financed emergency unemployment programs have expired. Millions more will each have their paychecks reduced by $300 a week, according to the New York Times.
Instead of finding another way to help them, the Democrat decided to focus on retraining job seekers. She suggested there is little chance of them returning to their former roles.
“I know where the programs are and it is about connecting people, helping them get retraining for a job because some of these jobs may never come back,” she said according to CBS6.
She suggested unemployed New Yorkers should turn to workforce training programs.
“It is simply a matter of connecting the dots, connecting the people to the training, connecting them to the positions,” she said according to the New York Post. “That is something I will be lazer-focused on because a lot of people are hurting today as a result of the federal government not extending the resources and the timeframe for this.”
Department of Labor data shows unemployment was 7.6 percent across the Empire State and 10.5 percent in New York City during July.
New York restaurateurs hope the end of enhanced COVID-19 unemployment benefits will encourage people to return to work. Jeremy Wladis complained it has been “crazy difficult” to recruit staffs, despite offering a $30 to $40 hourly rate for servers at Good Enough To Eat, Harvest Kitchen, and Hachi Machi in Manhattan.
“Why am I having a hard time finding people to work and there are so many people collecting unemployment?” he said according to the paper.
Stephen Starr, who owns the pan-Asian Chelsea restaurant Buddakan and eight other Manhattan restaurants, plans to reopen several establishments he shuttered during the pandemic. However, he is still struggling to find enough workers.
“There are restaurants we closed that we need to reopen in October but we are having real difficulties getting people,” he said according to the publication. “We are feeling this shortage on all levels from dishwasher to general manager.”