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As businesses struggle to hire workers, organization pushes for end to federal unemployment aid

3 years 1 month 1 week ago Monday, May 10 2021 May 10, 2021 May 10, 2021 6:39 PM May 10, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - With Cinco de Mayo, Mother's day and graduations, last week was a booming week for restaurants, but the boost in business came at a price.

"Everybody pretty much worked doubles. Just encoded payroll and there's a lot of overtime this week. Really everybody is just exhausted," said Jim Urdiales, with Mestizo.

It's a trend small businesses have been seeing for months now.

According to the Louisiana chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, 44 percent can't find enough workers. That's twice the amount of their 48 year average.

One of the main reasons, according to the association, is federal stimulus money going to the unemployed.

"I do think they need to exit the stimulus to get people back to work," Urdiales said.

That is what the group aims to do, hoping to enact legislation this session that will stop those COVID dollars.

"What we're hoping that is in an effort to get people back into the workforce, and off of the federal unemployment, we can stop benefits and create this back-to-work program," said Dawn McVea, with NFIB.

The full plan hasn't been revealed yet but will be modeled off states who have already done it: South Carolina, Alabama, and Montana. NFIB says its as simple as people needing jobs and jobs needing people.

"A lot of folks are saying this is not the right thing to do. But the fact of the pandemic is we're closing in on it hopefully being over soon, and we know that the state is back open 100 percent," McVea said.

Representative Michael Echols from Monroe is going to take the lead on proposing the return to work incentive program this legislative session.

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