According to the expert, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Sunday the U.S. economy, the world’s largest, is “now in a recovery stage” from the debilitating effects of the coronavirus pandemic that closed thousands of businesses, even as forecasters say unemployment figures will remain high for months.
Kudlow told CNN, “I think we are on our way back. 2021 is going to be a solid, solid year.”
He indicated the $600-a-week unemployment compensation supplement the federal government has been paying more than 40 million unemployed workers in addition to state jobless benefits is likely to end as scheduled at the end of July.
“We’re paying people not to work,” he said. “It’s better than their salaries” in some instances. He said a such a boost for unemployed workers might have made sense in the early stages of the coronavirus-caused business shutdowns, but not as the economy recovers.
However, he said the Trump administration is envisioning “some kind of bonus to return to work” for those who have been laid off, although not as much as the weekly federal unemployment compensation supplements that have been paid for 2 ½ months. Some lawmakers have suggested a one-time $1,200 stipend might be paid to returning workers.
“We want people to go back to work,” Kudlow said. “I think people want to go back to work. We don’t want to interfere with that.”
He said state unemployment compensation benefits would not end, They, however, typically only amount to somewhat less than half of what workers are paid and vary widely among the 50 U.S. states.