Companies scramble to fill vacancies as the country continues to reopen after the coronavirus pandemic, but the reality is that there just aren’t enough people looking for jobs. The state of Pennsylvania made the right move by removing the relaxed standards for unemployment benefits and reinstating the requirement that those receiving benefits must actively seek work.

When the pandemic began over a year ago, Pennsylvania relaxed some of its unemployment compensation rules. In addition to suspending the “waiting week” during which claimants did not receive benefits during their first week of unemployment, the state also lifted its job search and registration requirements. job. People in receipt of unemployment benefits in the past year were not required to prove that they applied for or looked for a new job.

With most business restrictions now lifted as more people are vaccinated and with many jobs available, the state Department of Labor and Industry announced that from July the requirements job search will be in effect again. It is a decision that makes sense.

If businesses are to bounce back after more than a year of upheaval and uncertainty, they will have to fill the millions of vacancies across the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in March, the number of job postings nationwide peaked at 8.1 million, while the number of new hires remained stable at around 6 million. The gap of some 2 million between vacancies and hires was the largest margin on record.

Companies in many industries – including the restaurant and hospitality industry as well as retail – offer bonuses and perks to try to fill positions that have in some cases caused them to cut back hours. opening due to limited staff. They should also remember the concept of supply and demand and consider increasing hourly wage rates to attract potential employees. Ultimately, it’s about what the market is going to put up with.

Unemployment compensation is designed as a stopgap to help individuals and families stay afloat financially as they recover from job loss. Recovering from a job loss, in the long run, means (for most people) finding a new job. With businesses reopening and the economy gradually returning to something that looks like normal, state officials are right once again to demand that those receiving unemployment benefits actively seek work.

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