William Beach of the Conservative Heritage Foundation stated that if you extend the benefits people are less likely to look for work:
JEFFREY BROWN: Right. But we also heard that there is longer -- people are unemployed for longer periods.
WILLIAM BEACH: Indeed. Indeed. And we have created a bit of a problem by extending unemployment beyond that 26 weeks.
We know that that changes the behavior of people who are unemployed. They don't look for work as much as they otherwise would be. If you have got that 26th week looming ahead of you, all the academic studies show that you go out and you really begin to make an active job search.
Not as much job training is undertaken or education, so there are some incentives that are put in place that are rather perverse...
Of course no matter how active the unemployed are at looking for work, you can't hire five people for one job opening. 5-to-1 is the current ratio of job seekers to employment opportunities among the officially unemployed (when those who are not receiving unemployment benefits are counted the ratio is higher).
So, what about retraining? Well, I've been a software developer for over 20 years and just a few years ago my profession was the sort of job people were retrained for. Now there are many unemployed technology workers and if those like myself who have a college degree and years of experience have trouble finding work, what chance do the retrained have?
The fact of the matter is that businesses throttle the rate of employment, not workers.
I wonder. Can I be retrained to be a smug political pundit? There seems to be a lot of demand for them.