EMPLOYEES RETURN TO WORK AGAINST STRONG CURRENT OF GENEROUS UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
by Dave Barkholz
New unemployment claims released Thursday show that Tennesseans are being called back to work faster than they are being laid off.
The total number of residents on unemployment last week fell for the sixth straight week to 267,000. That’s 14,000 fewer than the 281,000 who collected benefits during the previous week.
At its peak, 325,000 Tennesseans were on unemployment during the week of May 9.
But as the state’s economy has reopened, businesses have gradually been calling people back to work.
It’s been a struggle because the majority of Americans on unemployment earn more on the unemployment benefits than they made on the job.
That’s because of a $600 per week federal supplement to state unemployment benefits. That supplement, however, runs out in late July and is not likely to be renewed.
Last week saw an increase in new unemployment claims in Tennessee for the first time in 11 weeks.
About 21,000 Tennesseans filed for first-time unemployment last week compared with 20,000 the week earlier.