How Government Is Hurting the Labor Market

Here's how elected officials are behind some of the more depressing spots in the latest job report.

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To continue receiving those benefits, a worker has to be actively searching for a job. But once the benefits run out, a worker may call the job search quits, meaning they would move from the ranks of the unemployed to the population of discouraged workers.

"If an individual is receiving benefits, whoever is responding [to the jobs survey] for the household wants to make sure that they're not going to jeopardize those benefits, they automatically say yes," the person is seeking a job, says O'Keefe. "Once the incentive provided by the continued receipt of the transfer is gone they may answer no – they didn't look actively in the last 30 days, because they already know from six months or more of active job search that jobs are not immediately available."

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