MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle was slammed Monday for her take on how government unemployment benefits are affecting the U.S. labor force, arguing that the real question is why aren’t employers offering workers higher wages.
In response to an underwhelming April jobs report, some liberals are pushing back against the notion that unemployment benefits are discouraging a return to the workforce.
“Why is it – that the unemployment benefits are too generous rather than the pay offered by employers too low?” Ruhle asked Sunday. “Pay more $ = find more workers [sic] If margins are so thin, that you cannot increase pay without passing it through/losing customers = your biz model doesn’t work.”
She followed up, “Remember, over the last year Amazon & other major retailers hired HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people to work in warehouses/disty centers. Many of those jobs pay $16+hr, healthcare & offer steady schedule. A lot of folks left the service industry & aren’t coming back.”
Ruhle worked in the finance industry before joining Bloomberg News and eventually NBC, where she also serves as the network’s chief business correspondent.
Social media users sarcastically applauded her “rock solid business and economic analysis,” where she suggested businesses deserve to fail if they can’t raise wages.
Others argued the real issue that the jobs market is struggling at the moment is in part due to increased government handouts.
Lawmakers like Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla. ripped Ruhle for her dismissal of small business struggles.
The April U.S. jobs report came up dramatically short of expectations. Only 266,000 jobs were added to the economy, a number so low compared to the seven-figure mark experts expected that a CNBC analyst did a double take on air to make sure he had read the number right.
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The underwhelming statistics came after Biden signed a $1.9-trillion stimulus package into law in March that extended unemployment aid by $300-a-week through Sept. 6 and included a $1,400 stimulus payment for millions of Americans.
The Biden administration denied that the extended unemployment benefits played a factor in the disappointing report, but it admitted there is “a long way to go” to recover from the pandemic.