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ABQ Mayor Keller has unusual take on slim hiring market

  • Post published:May 3, 2021
  • Post category:Media

Increased benefits a roadblock for businesses looking to hire; ABQ Mayor Keller says he will work those on unemployment by holding job offers until their benefit payments end, which is projected to be in August!  Employers seeking to hire are facing slim pickings as some New Mexicans opt to stay home until jobless benefits dry up.   Some are saying that’s not the case.  Yet,  Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller confirmed there is an ‘issue’  by telling people on unemployment to  apply now for numerous open positions that need to be filled now, but that he would “…work with you so that maybe your start date could be August 1 when unemployment runs out.” 

NMBC is somewhat shocked by Mayor Keller’s comments, but, then again, what choice does any employer have? As long as employees are well paid to stay home, many don’t have the initiative to work. Add to that the fact that state government has removed the requirement to search for work while collecting unemployment benefits, there’s little that employers can do, but get in line for when the benefits end.  We understood lifting the job search requirement at the beginning of the statewide lockdown because there was no work to find.  But that isn’t the case today.  Government safety net programs (like unemployment benefits) should be in place while there is a need, not provide a long term paid vacation. 

NMBC president Carla Sonntag spoke about the problem including the State eliminating the work search requirement for those receiving unemployment benefits on KOAT News HERE.

Without providing any detail, Governor Lujan Grisham has now said she intends to, “…find a way to incentivize employees to get back to work.”  Incentivize? If they no longer have a free ride without a qualified job search requirement, feeding their families might be incentive enough.