It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected just about every industry. While we all assumed that the world was on “pause” until it was safe to resume life again, the truth is that the choices we made as a city and as a state will affect life as we know it indefinitely.
Despite Illinois’ slowly reopening, our state still received over 15,000 unemployment claims, as of March 25th (1). Since then, the number has drastically decreased, but due to the acts passed in Washington, it does not mean that more people are employed. The CARES Act passed in 2020 and The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 keep the employable unemployed. This is one of the major reasons why the Democrats and Republicans in Washington had trouble reaching an agreement.
Unemployment insurance is an extremely helpful benefit, but it’s important to understand what it was actually designed to do. Under normal circumstances, you must qualify for unemployment (you did not quit your job and were not fired for cause). The compensation typically lasts up to 26 weeks, depending on the state, and the participant must follow the reporting rules to continue receiving these temporary benefits. It’s designed to providetemporary relief.
Unfortunately, we are not under “normal circumstances.” With the added weekly compensation of $600 and then $300, many of the unemployed have found it to be more lucrative to remain out of work. The longer we continue on this path, the more difficult it will be to have the unemployed transition into working again. How will this affect us in the long term? Employers are struggling already to find those who are willing to work. As a result, we as consumers will have to get used to longer wait times, less attention and increased costs of goods and services.
The time has come to take our blinders off in order to see the reality of the situation. Travel, tourism, hospitality, restaurants and retail are a few of the major industries that have been hit hard by the pandemic and that will be slow to recover. If we can’t find workers, these businesses cannot operate. This will directly affect suppliers and even farmers.
The future of these industries lies in the hands of the workers. Why wait until the government cuts off the unemployment compensation? It’s time for the unemployed to get in control. We are more likely to find contentment in our lives when we are in control of our work, mission, finances and well-being.
We’ve been in our homes for about a year now. It’s safe enough to come out. We know more about the risks and how to mitigate them. Do what you feel is best for you and your family. If you need help getting started, reach out to your Republican Committeeperson. Chicago: it’s time to get back to work!
3rd Ward Committeeperson - Chicago
Monique Hoffman was appointed 3rd Ward Republican Committeeperson in January, 2021. She enters this office as the neighborhood Health and Life Insurance Broker, Chef, Nutritionist, and Advocate.
As Committeeperson, Monique is relentlessly determined to support the nearly 54,000 residents, as well as businesses, of the 3rd Ward through action and engagement.