Only Ten Percent of Unemployed Workers Say They’re ‘Actively’ and ‘Urgently’ Looking for a Job

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Sandra Presley, 57, attends a job fair for restaurant and hotel workers in Torrance, Calif., June 23, 2021. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Only about 10 percent of unemployed workers say they’re “actively” and “urgently” looking for work, according to a new poll from Indeed.

While there are roughly 10 million unemployed Americans and over 9 million open positions, around 30 percent of respondents said they plan to find a job soon but are not looking at all now.

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Another 45 percent said they are passively searching for roles.

The findings come as Republicans have called to end federal unemployment benefits of $300-per-week ahead of the September expiration in order to bring Americans back into the workforce.

At least 26 states have so far announced they will cut off federal unemployment programs ahead of the September 6 expiration.

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Missouri Governor Mike Parson told the Wall Street Journal that the continuation of federal benefits “worsened the workforce issues we are facing.”

The paper reported earlier this week that the number of people receiving unemployment benefits is falling faster in states that have ended extended federal unemployment assistance.

States that announced an end to the enhanced benefits this month saw a 13.8 percent decrease in residents receiving benefits from mid-May through June 12, according to an analysis by Jefferies LLC. Meanwhile, states that plan to end federal unemployment in July saw a 10 percent decline in residents receiving state benefits over the same period and states ending federal unemployment in September recorded a 5.7 percent decline.

“You’re starting to see a response to these programs ending,” Jefferies chief financial economist told the Journal. “Employers were having to compete with the government handing out money, and that makes it very hard to attract workers.”

Meanwhile, the Indeed survey found that workers without college degrees gave several reasons for staying out of the job market: 25 percent are afraid of COVID-19 and waiting for vaccination rates to rise, more than 20 percent said they have a financial cushion and 20 percent said they are staying home because of childcare responsibilities.

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Around 12 percent said their unemployment benefits were the reasons why they are not rushing back into the labor market.

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