When Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27, August seemed a long ways off, another lifetime even for a nation just entering the beginning stages of a planned national lockdown meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Much to the consternation of some Republican senators like Nebraska’s Ben Sasse and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, that bill included an additional $600 in federal unemployment benefits per week per laid-off employee, in addition to whatever state unemployment benefits those employees qualified for, all the way through the end of July.
Sasse, Graham, and others were castigated for opposing the additional cash, and I can definitely understand the frustration, especially from those who lost jobs through no fault of their own. However, the senators’ opposition wasn’t coming from heartless elitism, but rather concern for small and medium-sized businesses that, once the lockdowns ended, would be desperate to bring employees back and maybe even hire more.
Imagine being a restaurant owner trying to reopen, a farmer trying to get the crops planted, or a manufacturer trying to produce much-needed goods critical not just to keep that company afloat, but to keeping the U.S. economy moving, and you ironically can’t find help even though unemployment is at Depression-level highs. All you can afford to pay is X, but everyone on unemployment is making somewhere between X and X + $600.
If you’re a hiring business owner, why would anyone take a pay cut from their current “sitting at home” salary to come work for you?
To be clear, if you’re currently one of the ones “sitting at home,” you aren’t to blame, at all. The government forced you into the situation you are in, and they definitely had an obligation to make you whole. One can certainly argue about whether “making whole” should have resulted in a pay raise, but nevertheless you deserved every penny that came and is still coming your way, and kudos to you for taking it.
However, I’d also like to list a few reasons why you should consider going back to work right now, at least if you’re offered a job that you could see yourself in when all this craziness is finally over. Because it will be over, and sooner than you think. August is coming, folks, and it’s only two months away.
Be first in line, before there is a line
When August hits everyone, and I do mean everyone, who wants to work and is currently receiving an extra $600 per week will be suddenly out there looking for a job. Right now, those numbers are in the tens of millions, all of whom may be competing with you for the best jobs. Why not avoid the line before the line even starts?
Look like a go-getter, because you are one
Again, nobody is blaming you for taking the money. However, if you find work now, while this pandemic is going on, future hiring managers, and especially your current employer, WILL look favorably on you. Anytime you have an opportunity to set yourself apart from others in your field, you should do so. Now is a great time to set yourself apart.
If a company is hiring now, you probably want to work for them
By getting a jump on the job market now, you not only avoid the coming lines, you also get your pick of companies that ARE hiring. And if a company is ramping up now, in the midst of a global pandemic, you know that company is probably solid and there for the long haul.
You may be OK financially right now. That’s awesome! But if you aren’t working right now, please don’t forget that August is coming. Between now and then, Luttrell Staffing Group is right here, ready to help you find that next great employment landing spot.