In early March, President Biden signed a $1.9 billion COVID-relief bill that extends a $300 per week supplemental benefit to individuals collecting unemployment. The federal package runs through early September 2021 and is offered to all who receive unemployment, including independent contractors, business owners, and many others impacted by COVID who wouldn’t typically qualify for unemployment benefits. Although it’s hard to know for certain how many individuals are currently collecting unemployment in each state, it is estimated the number is somewhere near 20 million.
If you are among the many collecting unemployment benefits, deciding to go back to work may be a difficult one. It’s very possible you could be making more money with your unemployment than you were while working – or at least close. So why go back to work? Turns out, there are quite a few reasons. Here’s just a few…
Unemployment benefits have an expiration date
This seems like a no-brainer, but with unemployment extensions, stimulus checks, and even student loan forgiveness, it’s easy to assume the money and relief will keep rolling in. However, as COVID numbers get lower and businesses reopen their doors, those collecting unemployment will go back to getting the minimum offered by each state. That amount might cover some of your expenses, but it may not be enough to live on, and it won’t last forever.
Businesses are hiring
According to Reuters, the job market reached a two-year high in February, with 7.4 million job openings recorded by the end of the month. Yet, many companies are having a tough time finding employees to fill their open positions. This could be a result of generous unemployment packages, child care needs, fear of COVID-exposure, or just wanting to ride it out a little while longer. While all these reasons are valid and should be carefully considered, now might be a better time than any to get started on that job search. Many business sectors that were closed or limited as a result of the pandemic, such as gyms, hotels, restaurants, concert and sporting venues, or travel and leisure companies are hiring to meet the growing demands of a world eager to go out and live their lives. Whether you’re staying in the same industry or looking for a change, it could be time to take the plunge – the jobs are waiting for you.
It’s an investment in your future
It now feels safe to say, there will be life beyond the pandemic. We have been living in uncertainty for so long with shutdowns, school closures, limited capacities, travel bans, etc., that it can be hard to think about what’s next for us in our lives and career. As we inch closer to the end of the pandemic, that future is looking much brighter. Whether you need to brush up on your job skills, are looking for a new challenge, or are considering making a career change, returning to the workforce is your first step to improving your financial stability and wellbeing. Working gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment. It opens the door to advancements and gives you more control over your life. So, polish up that resume and fine-tune those interview skills. The opportunity is there, don’t miss it.