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Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted Thursday that the Biden administration’s generous jobless benefits are hindering the return of employees to work as businesses try to reopen from COVID-19 shutdowns.
“I think there’s an issue there,” Hizzoner acknowledged when asked at his daily briefing how he plans to rev up the city’s economy again if workers find it more lucrative to stay home than return to work.
“I think what you’re going to see is more and more people taking jobs because the unemployment is going to run out,” he said.
His remarks follow The Post’s report on a Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce poll that shows more than two-thirds of the businesses in the borough are having trouble hiring and 42 percent of business owners believe that’s due to the unemployment benefits boost.
The mayor added that he believes the issue will eventually “resolve itself simply because of the sheer logic that folks who want to get jobs while they can get them and get jobs they want, need to act pretty soon.”
“I think that’s going to improve literally with every passing week, every passing day. The unemployment plan was based on the fact that none of us knew what was going to happen with COVID and the economy, but people needed to have some kind of income to keep their families going,” the mayor said.
“Now, we’ve got a reality where the economy is coming back.”
Along with the 64 percent of businesses having trouble bringing workers back, 42 percent cited the high jobless benefits from President Biden’s coronavirus relief plan that pay more than the city’s $15 minimum wage.
Manhattan business owners reflected that sentiment, with restaurateurs saying they’re having trouble expanding to the 75 percent indoor capacity because workers don’t want to return.
Biden’s COVID benefits extended the $300 supplement to unemployment benefits until September, allowing jobless New Yorkers to get paid between $600 and $805 in combined state and federal unemployment benefits per week.
Experts warn the liberal benefits could stall any economic recovery as the nation emerges from the coronavirus shutdowns.
A jobs report from last Friday that showed the economy added just 266,000 jobs in April instead of the estimated 1 million job fed those fears.
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