Bar owner says staff won’t come back to work because they make more money collecting federal aid from virus relief – The Sun

A BAR owner said her staff won’t come back to work because they’re making more money from coronavirus relief aid than they would in her pub.

Melony Wagner said she wants to be able to reopen Charles Village Pub in Baltimore, Maryland, when the time comes — but might not be able to because of a lack of staff.

"They don't want to because it's less money,” Wagner told WBFF. “I'm not even angry or upset, I understand.”

“Why would you want to come back and actually work and make half as much money and you're working as you can get to stay home?” she said.

Roughly 36 million people have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus outbreak in the past two months.

As part of the CARES Act, the historic $2.2trillion coronavirus stimulus package passed by Congress in March, unemployed workers are getting an additional $600 a week.

That money comes on top of regular unemployment benefits.

Economist Anirban Basu told WBFF the additional $600 a week is making it difficult for employers to hire staff back.

"Because the federal government's unemployment benefits are reasonably generous, $600 a week on top of one’s state unemployment insurance benefits there might be some folks who decide I'm not really going to go back to work until August," he said.

Basu said that when the federal assistance runs out in July, he expects that more people will then want to head back to work.

"By August we should have a labor market that's functioning more like normal, but unemployment will still be very high," he said.

The bar owner, for her part, said she hopes for her employees to come back soon as she wants to reopen the pub.

"It's a very difficult position to be put in right now honestly,” she told the news outlet.

“I know everybody loves the extra $600 a week it's really had the opposite effect of what I think they were hoping it would have.”

Last week, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told Fox News that unemployment rate numbers are “probably going to get worse before they get better,” but added that “next year is going to be a great year.”

“This is no fault of American business, this is no fault of American workers, this is a result of a virus,” Mnuchin said.

He also said the jobless rate could be as high as 25 percent, a figure comparable to the Great Depression, or it could get there this quarter.

During the Great Depression in the 1930s, when unemployment peaked at 25 percent.

In April, the US unemployment rate hit 14.7 percent — the highest since the Great Depression.

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