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December 1, 2021
Connecticut now joins the list of states that are paying people to get back to work. This comes after the state’s Democratic Governor introduced a plan to give thousands of unemployed people a $1000 signing bonus after two months at a new job.
On Monday Gov. Ned Lamont unveiled his “Back to Work CT” program to provide an incentive to those made redundant due to the effects of COVID-19. The initiative will award a $1000 dollar bonus to the first 10,000 long term unemployed Connecticut residents who obtain new jobs after they have worked there for 8 consecutive weeks. At his regular Monday press briefing the Governor announced that “Starting on Monday, Connecticut is going to offer you a $1000 signing bonus …. big athletes get a signing bonus. Why don’t you get a signing bonus as well?”
Lamont went on to say “for those of you who have been long-term unemployed for a while, we’re going to pay you $1000 at the end of two months of work, to give you the incentive to get back to work, make sure your work is worth your while, make sure you can afford it, make sure if you need help on transportation, a little bit of extra help on child care, we’ve got the upfront money that allows you to do that.” Whilst the state managed to add 17,000 jobs in the first three months of this year the new initiative still comes at a time when business owners in Connecticut are struggling to find workers. The state currently has 65,000 job openings, mostly due to the easing of lockdown restrictions which has allowed restaurants, bars, and other businesses to open at full capacity.
Lamont says that he intends the program to be “the latest tool in our toolbox to maximise our state’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.” The $10 million program will be funded using federal COVID-19 money and will be administered by the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, which will provide an application form via its website in the coming days. Another aim of the program is to counter the $300 federal unemployment benefit per week, something which is believed to have contributed to last month’s dismal labour report.
The House Republican leader Vincent Candelora of North Branford blasted the bonuses, arguing that “Persuading people to give up one government benefit with the promise of another one is a little like a dog chasing its tail.” He added that “The governor should instead follow the obvious path taken by nearly 20 other governors and opt out of the $300 weekly unemployment bonus program that employers say has made staying at home a more lucrative option than re-joining the workforce.”
Connecticut is not the first to incentivise work via monetary reward. Earlier this month Montana announced that previously unemployed workers who complete four weeks of full-time work would receive $1,200 payments. Likewise last week, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced that formerly unemployed workers who completed 10 weeks of full time employment would receive $2,000 payments, with part time workers who had completed 10 weeks in a job after leaving the state’s unemployment program receiving $1,000 bonuses.
ARTICLE: NATHAN REID
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: FORBES