Labor recovery slows, Montana incentivizes work in new program

“The employment recovery slowed in April as the Labor Department reported a mixed bag of economic data.  The economy created a total of 266,000 jobs with 331,000 coming in the leisure and hospitality sectors and the rest of the economy losing 75,000 jobs with biggest losses occurring in the temporary services, automotive manufacturing, and courier and messenger employment.

“The good news in the labor market is that 430,000 people entered the workforce in April driving up the Labor Participation Rate to 61.7 percent.  Other good news is that about a third of the people who had previously indicated that they were prevented from looking for a job due to the pandemic have indicated that is no longer true.  The bad news is that the number of unemployed jumped by 102,000 in spite of the more than seven million jobs that were available in the last Job Openings & Labor Turnover report (February).

“With the economy growing at a projected 11% rate in Quarter 2 according to the Atlanta Fed GDPNow, it is almost impossible to reconcile this growth with the tepid job numbers in April. It is imperative that the Biden administration and their congressional allies re-think the multiple trillion dollar spending spree that is stifling job creation and employment growth.  At a time when millions of jobs are available, more than nine million are unemployed with millions more still on the sidelines of the job market.

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte has dropped his state from participating in the federal government unemployment insurance payment expansion of $300 a week explaining, “,,, we’re doing away with these supplemental benefits, we’re reinstituting work requirements and we’re putting this incentive to go back to work, The incentive is a $1200 back to work state bonus for Montanans currently on unemployment who take a job and stay on it for at least a month.

“In taking the action, the Governor recognizes that in his state, ‘…nearly every sector in our economy faces a labor shortage.’

“Rather than continue programs that promote on-going unemployment, Gov. Gianforte is choosing a different pathway of incentivizing people on the unemployment rolls to go back to work.  What a concept, incentivize actions we want to promote rather than those which we want to discourage.

“It is this kind of forward thinking problem solving which is currently missing in our national economic recovery discussion as Congress and the Executive Branch are intent on increasing Americans dependency upon helicopter money and the velvet handcuffs of government which come with it.”

For media availability contact Catherine Mortensen at 703-478-4643 or [email protected].

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