“We’re at a crisis point,” Chris Clark, the chamber’s CEO, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The organizations want the state to use existing federal funds to bolster child care options for workers and to support technical colleges that administer career retraining and certification programs. They’re also urging the state to resume its pre-COVID requirement that, in order to receive unemployment benefits, people must prove they are actively seeking work. Butler recently said he plans to do so in “the next few months.”
Monday, Kemp indicated he was open to the possibility of slashing jobless benefits. A spokeswoman said the governor and Butler met and “agreed changes are needed.”
The discussion comes days after the latest federal jobs numbers showed lackluster hiring growth in April.
In Georgia, jobless claims are down 27% from a month ago. The state Department of Labor’s jobs site had more than 251,600 listings late Monday.
Some Republicans have argued the COVID unemployment subsidies are incentivizing would-be workers to stay home. Others say hiring and unemployment numbers don’t account for jobless Georgians’ skill sets and where they live — a laid off IT worker in Gwinnett is unlikely to be looking for fast food work in Valdosta, for example.
The GOP governors of South Carolina and Montana recently announced plans to end their states’ participation in the federal unemployment benefits expansion.