Analysis: Push to end pandemic benefits may not be panacea for US labor shortage By Reuters –

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: People line up outside a newly reopened career center for in-person appointments in Louisville, U.S., April 15, 2021. REUTERS/Amira Karaoud/File Photo

By Howard Schneider

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The 25 U.S.

states calling an early halt to pandemic-related federal unemployment benefits have recovered more of the jobs lost during the crisis than other states, possibly limiting how much of a dent ending the weekly $300 payments will make in the national battle to fill record job vacancies.

Republicans have taken aim at the enhanced benefits, which were first approved by Congress in a massive relief package last year and later extended, arguing they discourage people from returning to work and are no longer needed given the easing pandemic. Four Republican-led states are ending the payments as of Saturday, with 21 others following suit through early July.

“Business owners … are struggling not because of COVID-19 but because of labor shortages resulting from these excessive federal unemployment programs,” Missouri more...