Biden-Friendly Economist: Bigger Benefit Checks Mean Fewer Workers

Higher unemployment checks, not school closures and a lack of child care services, are what is keeping American workers from returning to the workforce and “holding back the recovery,” Biden-friendly economist Jason Furman says in new economic analysis.

The suggestions undercut a major argument being used by the White House and congressional Democrats pushing for the president’s $1.8 trillion American Families Plan.  

“We shouldn’t expect a short-term economic bump from reopening schools and making child care more available,” said Furman, the co-author of a new economic analysis that is coming under fire from the White House and key Democrats because it echoes the stance of Republicans who blame the enhanced unemployment checks on the nation’s workforce crisis, Politico reported.

The report Furman led and co-authored for the Peterson Institute for International Economics with Melissa Kearney of the University of Maryland and Aspen Economic Strategy Group, and Wilson Powell III of the Harvard Kennedy School, concludes, because not only families with children are out of work, the decline is more likely something that is affecting all people.

This could include “workplaces being closed, jobs being undesirably unsafe, or unemployment insurance benefits being more generous and available,” the report says. 

Those findings echo Republican talking points that blame enhanced unemployment for people not returning to work, not the lack of child care or schools.