There is great satisfaction in successfully providing for oneself and one’s family, but when someone falls upon hard times, short-term government assistance can be helpful to get residents back on their feet. We must recognize, however, that government assistance shouldn’t be relied upon forever, and that helping people find jobs and contribute to their community is vital for them and the rest of us. We need the expertise and skills that our Salt Lake County residents have to offer.
In the midst of the pandemic, when joblessness was on the rise, the federal government took measures to subsidize state unemployment payments across the nation. This was intended to keep jobless individuals and families afloat during a time of economic uncertainty. While some states are still struggling, Utah is performing exceptionally well. Our unemployment rates are among the lowest in the nation, and we are one of two states that actually had a net gain in jobs in 2020. In fact, many businesses are struggling to find employees to fill their open positions as they reopen and strive to return to pre-pandemic levels of business. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many “Help Wanted” signs and advertisements before.
Because of the economic trajectory of our state, Governor Spencer Cox recently discontinued Utah’s participation in those earlier mentioned federal unemployment subsidies. This was done, in part, to combat what are called “perverse incentives,” meaning incentives that attempt to solve a problem but actually prolong or worsen the problems they are meant to solve. In this case, federal unemployment subsidies were intended to help those who could not find employment, but by continuing these benefits in good economic times, we would be disincentivizing those who are unemployed from finding gainful employment in a strong job market. We want government to avoid perverse incentives, and instead encourage people to find a long-term path to success.
There are certainly extenuating circumstances that make it difficult for people to work, but for those who can work, please know that there are plenty of people hiring and you are most certainly wanted! If you are looking for a job, I encourage you to check out any number of job posting websites. You can visit the state’s employment website at jobs.utah.gov and see if there’s a good fit for you. Our workforce is better with you in it. Our quality of life is better when we take an active role in contributing to our families, neighborhoods and communities.
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Aimee Winder Newton
Aimee Winder Newton has served since 2014 and represents Taylorsville, Murray, West Jordan, and West Valley City on the Salt Lake County Council. She was a former 2020 Republican candidate for Utah Governor and was the first woman elected as chair of the Council. Aimee works tirelessly to defend the quality of life in Salt Lake County while protecting tax dollars... [read more]
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aimee winder newton: County Council district 3