Fri, 18 Jun 2021

Turn down jobs and lose benefits, says Biden

Robert Besser
14 May 2021, 17:27 GMT+10

WASHINGTON D.C.: Amid criticism that the generous COVID-19 unemployment benefits rolled out in March are keeping Americans from accepting new jobs, U.S. President Joe Biden has said that people collecting benefits would lose them if they turn down suitable employment.

"If you're receiving unemployment benefits and you're offered a suitable job, you can't refuse that job and just keep getting unemployment benefits," Biden warned, as quoted by Reuters.

Republican lawmakers have blamed disappointing jobs numbers released last week, which show slower-than-anticipated jobs growth in April, on Biden's decision to extend unemployment benefits through August.

Some Republican governors have dropped the benefits entirely and channeled the funds to other programs.

Biden said his administration will ask U.S. states to make sure that unemployed Americans who are offered jobs either take them or lose their benefits.

Biden has also directed the U.S. Labor Department to work with states to reimpose rules that require people collecting unemployment benefits to show they are actively seeking work.

According to data released last week, the U.S. added just 266,000 new jobs in April, amid a growing shortage of workers. Analysts had forecast an expected 1 million new jobs to be added in April.

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