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Letter: No, Unemployment Benefits Don’t Stop People from Returning to Work

Letter: No, Unemployment Benefits Don’t Stop People from Returning to Work

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Sunday’s op-ed “With state and local freebies, why work?” is a poorly-research article by an unqualified author.

The article is by “Dr.” John Newport, who is an addiction counselor, not a physician or economist. He lives in Oro Valley, not Tucson.

His argument is a GOP bumper sticker: state and federal unemployment benefits “clearly deters many from looking for work.” This is false.

Study after study has debunked the myth that emergency benefits keep people out of the labor force. Newport did not do his research.

● “We find no evidence that high unemployment insurance replacement rates drove job losses or slowed rehiring,” says a 2020 study by economists published at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

● A separate 2020 study by Yale concluded, “We find no evidence that more generous benefits disincentivized work.”

Newport, an alleged Democrat, should instead support the PRO Act, which encourages unionizing and overrides Arizona’s “right-to-work” law. This will give the unemployed higher-paying jobs to seek.

Larry Bodine


Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.

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