People need to work, pay taxes

  • Saturday, September 4, 2021 1:30am
  • Opinion

It is not surprising that COVID-19 was disastrous for our country’s economy. Millions died from its complications; offices, stores and factoriesclosed; and, people were forced to quarantine at home.

The good news this Labor Day is vaccines are working and readily available. As a result, our job market has dramatically improved. People are eating out, shopping and traveling. Our economy is healing.

Vaccines were developed and deployed at “warp speed” under President Trump. Having Americans inoculated as quickly as possible is one of the few things in which presidents Trump and Biden jointly deserve credit. It is not a political football to be tossed back and forth. Proven vaccines are in everyone’s best interest.

Shots in arms started in mass as Biden took office. His administration rightly accelerated the pace. As a result, our unemployment rate dropped from almost 15% during the pandemic peak in April 2000 to 5.4% in mid-August 2021.

The progress continues. Wallethub.com reported much better job growth in July, exceeding researchers’ expectations. “The overall drop (in unemployment) can be attributed to a combination of vaccinations and states loosening restrictions.”

Wallethub.com credits vaccinations for the resurgence in people working. Now, just over half of all Americans are fully vaccinated and just over six-in-10 received one shot; however, the vaccination rate needs to accelerate. The overwhelming number of patients with COVID in our overcrowded hospitals are unvaccinated.

The good news is nearly 60% of all Washingtonians are completely immunized and two-thirds received one injection. Lack of vaccines is not an issue. Our state’s population is 7.8 million, and 10.5 million shots have been delivered and 9.4 million have been administered.

Vaccinations are reflected in jobs numbers. Wallethub.com data shows three Washington cities rank among the cities “bouncing back most.” Spokane is rated 16th best followed by Vancouver (27th ) and Tacoma (32nd ). To keep the economy moving, job vacancies need to be filled.

The number of unfilled jobs soared to nearly 15 million by mid-March. April data from online job site ZipRecruiter found discouraged, hesitant and fearful job seekers translates into many positions remaining vacant. Vaccinations go a long way to alleviating fear.

In May, the Labor Department jobs number were disappointing. The total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 266,000 in April, which was far below the 1 million expected by economists polled by Dow Jones. With millions of employer looking for workers, the emphasis is shifting to encourage people to seek work. Employers nationwide say the enhanced federal unemployment benefits will only add to workers’ reticence to fill the millions of open positions.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce believes paying people not to work is dampening what should be a stronger jobs market. As a remedy, some states, such as Montana, are rejecting the added $300 payment to unemployment checks. Gov. Greg Gianforte told the Associated Press extra federal unemployment benefits are doing more harm than good—-“extra payments have served as an incentive for people to stay home, collect the money and not seek work.”

Instead, Montana instituted an incentive program where workers receiving unemployment payments can qualify for a one-time $1,200 bonus after they have completed four weeks in their new jobs. Montana also is among several states reinstating the work-search requirement.

Finally, lawmakers must find ways to generate revenue without further damaging our economy. In 2020, the federal government took in $3.42 trillion, but spent $6.5 trillion. Our national debt has soared by $28.5 trillion, according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Vaccinations are key to putting people safely back to work. Working people sustain our

economy and those workers and businesses pay the taxes needed to fund our government.

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He can be contacted at theBrunells@msn.com.

More in Opinion

.
Nice to see media actually doing its job

At one point in his running, four-year war with the news media,… Continue reading

.
It’s no wonder Demos want illegal immigrants

Recently, the New York Times published an op-ed written by Atossa Araxia… Continue reading

.
Just say no to all work and no play or pay

So what can the plight of a little cafe tell you about… Continue reading

.
Not much of a gamble mixing those ads with sports

According to the Wall Street Journal, the fledgling online gambling industry is… Continue reading

People need to work, pay taxes

It is not surprising that COVID-19 was disastrous for our country’s economy.… Continue reading

.
Biden: Sign bill to match service dogs with vets

Our botched withdrawal from Afghanistan is hard to witness, but hearing the… Continue reading

State must rethink long-term care program

Time is short, but action is necessary! Gov. Jay Inslee and Democrats… Continue reading

.
Border fiasco could hurt Demos at mid-terms

In 2019, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said that… Continue reading

We all need a little more ‘emotional intelligence’ at this time

My Lab puppy, Thurber, makes me laugh out loud every day. The… Continue reading

.
Both parties failed due to Afghan corruption

Anyone who professes to be shocked by the Taliban victory in Afghanistan… Continue reading

.
I got my shot, but the booster not so much

Yeah, I’ll get the booster. I might even ask for a double,… Continue reading

.
My college student will choose church over parties

Many parents (including my wife and I) are currently in the process… Continue reading