Labor shortage solution is to stop paying people not to work: Economics professor

Businesses across America are having a hard time finding workers due to no-work bonuses, Brian Brenberg said

Fox News contributor and The King’s College Professor of Business and Economics Brian Brenberg showed support for Montana’s decision to stop accepting federal unemployment benefits on FOX Business’ “Varney & Co.” Thursday. Brenberg said it’s not just economical, but “common sense” to pay people to work rather than not to work.

BRIAN BRENBERG: You just got to stop paying them not to work. That’s what Montana’s finding. I mean, they’ve got 25,000 unemployed people. They’ve got 14,000 open jobs. Stuart, if you have open jobs, the question is why aren’t people taking them in? 

One of the reasons is because we’re paying people extra not to work. And it’s not just Montana, it’s across the country. I mean, business after business, 40% of businesses, Stuart, say the hardest thing they’re dealing with right now is finding people to take open jobs. In the restaurant industry, one in four restaurants are saying, ‘My biggest problem is I can’t recruit anyone to work.’ 

So stop paying people to not work. You can solve that problem really quickly.

Businesses do have to bid up their wages to get workers, but they shouldn’t be bidding against the federal government, who’s handing out expanded unemployment benefits. That’s not fair.

The problem is we’re in this situation right now where businesses feel like they’re competing against the federal government, a federal government who talks about being pro-worker and pro-business, and yet it’s directly competing with those businesses who need those workers. 

This is not really even economics. It’s just common sense. When you have open jobs, seven million open jobs in this country, pay people to work. Don’t pay them not to work.

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