Missouri Chamber supports governor’s action to address state’s growing workforce shortage
Missouri employers are increasingly sounding the alarm about a workforce shortage that threatens our economic recovery as the COVID-19 pandemic begins to wane. As recently as March, more than 115,000 jobs were open across Missouri, while nearly 130,000 Missourians remained unemployed.
Today, Gov. Mike Parson announced his decision to suspend the weekly $300 in federally-funded unemployment benefits that is currently being paid above and beyond normal benefits. Employers across Missouri have cited this benefit as a key reason why they cannot find enough workers.
Suspending the extra benefit will encourage individuals to return to work, fill open jobs and contribute to Missouri’s economic recovery.
“We strongly support the governor’s action to suspend these additional benefits. A year ago, these actions were needed as a lifeline when our economy contracted due to the global pandemic. But today we are in a different place. Our focus now is getting Missourians vaccinated, getting them safely back to work and getting our economy fully reopened,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Right now employers are deeply concerned about their ability to find the workers they need. For months we have sounded the alarm about our state’s growing workforce shortage. Addressing this issue will take a multifaceted approach, and we continue to work on legislation in the capitol that will help Missourians attain the skills they need to thrive in a recovered economy. As we move forward, it is clear that now is the right time to suspend these benefits as we seek to get Missourians back on the job and restore our economy.”