Why is the unemployment rate so high in New York when everywhere you look there's a help wanted sign?

Drive down almost any busy street in Central New York and you'll see signs in business windows, looking for help. I saw at least half a dozen just driving down Genesee Street in Oneida the other day. You may also see a few signs for reduced hours due to lack of employees.

In New York the unemployment rate is 8.2%, down a bit from 8.4% in March and WAY down from April 2020 when it was 16.2% during the pandemic.

The national average is 6.56% and only Hawaii and California have higher unemployment rates than New York.

So I ask again. Why is the unemployment rate so high when there are jobs available everywhere you look?

Too many people would rather collect unemployment benefits, including a $300 weekly supplement that was part of the newly enacted pandemic rescue plan, than get back to work. For some, the benefits equal the same or more than they would make on the job. Add that to the stimulus checks everyone has been given, why would people go back to work to make less?

Health concerns are another reason people are staying home. There is light at the end of the tunnel in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. But the fight isn't over yet and many could be choosing to stay home until it is.

I understand there are people who can't work for whatever reason and need unemployment benefits. But there are way too many people who just don't want to work.

Whatever the reason people continue to collect unemployment benefits rather than get back to work, it's frustrating for business owners who can't fill jobs and keep their doors open. Some businesses may not even open at all this summer because they just can't find people who are willing to work.

It's also frustrating for those of us who continue to earn a decent living rather than having it handed to us.

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