May 14, 2021
The April jobs data released by the Department of Labor last week spurred an avalanche of hysteria and conservative hand-wringing about supposedly widespread labor shortages, with many on the right pointing to pandemic jobless benefits as the bogeyman. In a particularly troubling move, on Wednesday of this week, 12 Republican governors announced they’d be ending access to pandemic unemployment benefits in their states.
To help unpack the state of the labor market as the COVID-19 economic recovery continues—and the role of pandemic unemployment insurance in the recovery—Rebecca sat down with Heidi Shierholz, policy director at the Economic Policy Institute, former chief economist at the Department of Labor under President Obama, for a reality check on the jobs data and what they really tell us about the kind of policies we need at this point in the ongoing recovery.
More from Heidi on all this: