People not fat and sassy from benefits: Swenson

July 9, 2021

David SwensonDavid Swenson, research scientist, recent media interviews:

Cara Smith, Quad City Times, about the child care tax credit payments that will be forthcoming beginning in mid-July and how that effects the Quad City economy. 

Erin Murphy, Lee Enterprises, Quad City Times, about the state’s unemployment situation and whether eliminating federal unemployment assistance will improve hiring.

Swenson said while the number of Iowa nonfarm jobs has been increasing as Durham noted, the pace has been “really, really slow” and lags behind federal growth.

“We’ve really had a lot of people check out of the labor force, and we don’t know what it’s going to take to get them back in,” Swenson said.

Swenson said research does not support the notion that limiting unemployment benefits increases workforce participation. He noted unemployment benefits are available to individuals only who are seeking employment. Those who are not seeking a job are not eligible.

“People aren’t getting fat and sassy off the benefits. People on the benefits are much more likely to be searching for work,” Swenson said. “We don’t have good, national research that says being mean to unemployed people whips them back into the labor force, whips them back into employment.”

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