To encourage citizens to return to the workforce, Michigan may be offering a 'return to work' bonus, if you will.

Part of a much larger package, a $12.7 billion Covid relief package to be precise, those who are currently unemployed would receive a $1,000 grant if they found a job.

As reported by Click on Detroit, the grant total would be enough to cover up to 400,000 residents. That's less than half of the 839,000 currently receiving unemployment benefits. However, according to Republican Rep. Thomas Albert of Lowell, if that encouraged even 10-20% of people to return to the workforce it would make a huge difference in the state.

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Why are people refusing to return to the workforce?

Refusing feels too declarative. I don't think it's as simple as people just saying, "nope! I love staying home." With the supplemental federal aid, those who are unemployed are receiving $662 a week in unemployment benefits. That amounts to a livable wage of $34,000 a year. Faced with a decision of staying on unemployment or returning to a job that may pay half of that and force a person to work even 2 or 3 jobs...I can't say I'm surprised at the fact that people are choosing the former.

Locally, restaurant owners are just a few of the many facing shortages with staffing. In fact, they've been having trouble finding employees for a while. Read more below:

What's the solution?

As a lowly radio host, I stay far away from speaking on anything financial or what the local government should do. I'm not educated in that field and I definitely don't want to misinform people. However, I am someone who listens to people, who is constantly browsing social media and from that it is my opinion that people are tired. They're tired of the pandemic. They're tired of struggling. They're tired of the uncertainty.

After all, who's to say that once they return to work things won't shut down again? I pray to whatever God will listen that we are passed that but...weirder things have happened over the last year and a half. And if people have to choose between KNOWING that they'll have enough money to cover their bills or feed their family and maybe having enough...again it's no surprise to me why they're choosing to stay home.

In the meantime...

Until this is resolved I believe the main thing that you and I can do is to support local businesses any way we can. Take a stroll downtown and visit the little shops, call up that local restaurant you haven't visited in a while and treat yourself to dinner, or skip Amazon for a day and do your shopping locally instead.

The relief bill, besides offering $1,000 grants to those who return to work, is extensive with portions going to frontline workers, schools and more. Read more about it at Clickondetroit.com.

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