A business owner says he’s noticed people have begun submitting job applications following Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R-Fla.) decision to reinstate unemployment benefit rules.
According to restauranteur Buddy Foy Jr, the governor’s order was like “fairy dust” that made the jobless get up and go seek employment.
“It’s just like that, magic fairy dust,” Foy, the owner of Chateau by the Lake, told Fox News. “Now you have to look for a job, the waiver is being removed for that search requirement for unemployment. And in the last 5 days, literally everyday it’s building to more and more.”
Rather than find a job, many potential workers in Florida have instead been collecting as much as $575-a-week in benefits from the federal and state governments combined, after DeSantis signed a waiver at the beginning of the pandemic last year nixing a requirement that forced jobseekers to apply for at least 5 jobs a week.
However, as more businesses start to open up, employers have been complaining no one wants to fill positions in light of the free money being handed out by the federal government.
“We got zero phone calls in five months for jobs, we filled our jobs through referral, Steve, through our current employees. And in the last 5 days, our staff is saying ‘I can’t keep answering the phone, we have to serve customers’.”
Foy says his other restaurant in New York is struggling, but will be open on Memorial Day and “take reservations based on the supply of labor.”
The restaurant owner, who calls moving to Florida a “blessing,” says he doesn’t blame workers for staying home and collecting a check.
“You make more money on your involvement at home, so I don’t blame them.”
Foy’s testimony comes as businesses across the US are struggling to find workers due to competition with federal unemployment benefits.
The US Chamber of Commerce recently called for an end to the free money program after an abysmal Labor Dept. report last week showed a net increase of 266,000 jobs being created in April.
“The disappointing jobs report makes it clear that paying people not to work is dampening what should be a stronger jobs market,” the Chamber said in a statement.
“One step policymakers should take now is ending the $300 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit,” the group stated. “Based on the Chamber’s analysis, the $300 benefit results in approximately one in four recipients taking home more in unemployment than they earned working.”