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Because of high unemployment benefits, businesses can't find summer workers (bostonglobe.com)
17 points by ilamont 10 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 21 comments

1. Everytime I hear this I assume the business can't find people to work anyway when the excuse doesn't apply

2. If your underpaying people that's another problem

3. You're asking people to work during a pandemic. They're not putting their lives and fiances (who's going to pay for their hospital bill) to work for you

Most people don't get full pay on unemployment, it was a partial payment. $600 a week more for someone who was making min. wage is significant, that's an extra $15/hour.

Mass has a $12.75/hour minimum wage. I wonder how many people were making about minimum wage, there's always been an argument that min. wage was less than most adults make, but these owners are saying it wasn't true for them.

Fixed Headline:

Businesses don't have enough need for summer workers to pay them

1. Aren't most summer workers students? 2. How do you get unemployment if you've been a full-time student since last August? 3. The last time I stayed on Cape Cod, the B&B owner said that local businesses employed a lot of foreign workers, mostly European university students it seemed. How are they affected by American UI?

Could now be the time we reevaluate our idea of what is the minimum bar for the wellness of our citizens here in the US?

And if businesses can’t find summer works, should those businesses be reevaluating their model? Do those businesses have a right to exist going forward as before COVID19 or do the workers have a right to a better living?

The more businesses are forced to reevaluate their model, the longer and harder the recovery will be. Maybe that’s worth it, I don’t know, but the consequences of a long recovery are going to largely fall on the backs of those same workers.

perhaps this is the consequence of a ubi like program.

not saying if its good or bad but it puts a floor on what salary people are willing to accept for different jobs

Not really.

If you had ubi, then you could still take those jobs for additional income for hobbies, travel, etc.

As it is right now, you're losing money by taking these jobs.

In the UK, furloughed workers can take other jobs without affecting their payments. The Land Army drive to fill in for normal seasonal workers failed heavily to get 80k signed up despite millions literally sitting at home twiddling thumbs.

Kind of an interesting natural experiment along the lines of What would happen if we effectively closed the border to illegal immigration and also did not also fix legal immigration somehow?

Sounds like those businesses' success is predicated on some people being poor.

Pay them more, then. It's that simple.

How is this the obvious conclusion instead of lowering unemployment? I’m not arguing in favor of one or the other, but you’ve jumped to a massive conclusion.

Because businesses don't want to pay market rates for summer workers.

They should pay more.

'Should' isn't a useful thing in this discussion. When thinking about policy there is only behaviour pre-intervention and behaviour post-intervention.

In this case, you'd note that there are certain businesses that don't consider themselves viable at the current value of unemployment benefits if unemployment behaves as it does right now. Then you see if you're okay with losing those businesses and if you are, then so be it, you think it's worth the trade-off. If you're not okay, then you need to tune the intervention, e.g. unemployment is guaranteed for some time even if you become re-employed, or 'unemployment' is guaranteed to all, or you lower the payment, etc.

The only thing I would retort is that you are assuming their are only two outcomes, the incentives get realigned to allow businesses to operate under preexisting circumstances or we don't change incentives and these businesses fail. I would totally agree we need to look at behavioral outcomes, I would say that we need to look at it from the employer side and immigration side as well not just the domestic labor side.

Only stated it like that to keep it concise. Ultimately, I guess my point is that it isn't a moral question. Moral incentives are hard to provide so policy centres around the levers we know to pull. Saying "businesses should" without incentivizing that is just saying "users are holding the phone wrong".

So yes, you are right that there are many parameters that can be tuned.

>'Should' isn't a useful thing in this discussion.

Your own comment refutes this, you just use different wording. Policies are created with certain goals in mind, i.e., how things should be. You then see whether your policies have achieved this goal, and reevaluate accordingly.

Perhaps I worded that poorly. That's fair criticism.

I just mean that making some policy and then saying "businesses should do X" isn't useful. That's like making a phone a certain shape and then saying "people are holding the phone wrong".

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