Faced with thousands of job openings, several Republican states would cut unemployment benefits to the maximum, forcing people to enter the job market, according to Fox Business.
According to a report this week from the Department of Labor, there are nearly a record number of jobs available, with approximately 5 million more job openings than workers, which equates to about 1.8 jobs per unemployed person.
At a time when businesses are concerned about a lack of workers for jobs where wages are often the lowest, lawmakers in the states of Iowa, Kentucky and West Virginia are in the process of drastically lowering, from 26 to 10, the number of weeks a person is paid for being unemployed.
40 states pay insurance for unemployment of 26 weeks, while only 6 present more rigid limits, among them are:
Arkansas and Kansas which pay 16 weeks, Alabama and Georgia go to 14 weeks, while in Florida, the unemployed are eligible to collect insurance for 12 weeks, as is North Carolina.
The state of Iowa is considering reducing unemployment payments to legible individuals from 26 weeks to 16 weeks at a time when there are an estimated 86,000 job openings.
Unemployment wages currently being paid are estimated to exceed nearly twice the state’s minimum wage, that is $7.25 per hour.
The move by Republican Governor Kim Reynolds has been supported only by lawmakers in her party.
While Kentucky, which currently has a current unemployment rate of 4.2% and pays unemployment nearly double the weekly minimum wage, would reduce benefits from 26 weeks of eligibility to no more than 12 weeks.
West Virginia, meanwhile, passed a bill to limit unemployment pay to 12 weeks from the current 26.
West Virginia has a current unemployment rate of 3.9%, and pays $424 in unemployment insurance, versus $328 in weekly minimum wage.