For instance, Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta rigged the company’s pay rules to inflate his 2020 compensation to $56 million — 1,953 times more than the company’s median employee. Frontline Hilton workers, meanwhile, face a 39 percent reduction in staffing as the company moves to cut costs.
How could we expect an abrupt and mass return to work under these conditions?
Republicans thought they could force it by simply cutting the added $300 a week in federal unemployment insurance. It didn’t work.
Over the summer, governors in 25 states prematurely ended the enhanced unemployment benefits to pressure people back to work. The results? Unimpressive. Payrolls grew by a meager 1.33 percent in the states that chose to end the benefits — compared to 1.37 percent in states that maintained them.
Unemployment insurance wasn’t keeping people out of work, it turns out. It was keeping them out of poverty.
After Congress expanded government assistance programs in spring 2020, including unemployment insurance, the number of people in poverty actually fell. All told, pandemic government aid programs kept 53 million people above the poverty line in 2020.
Had enhanced programs not been in place, the number of people in poverty would have increased by 2.5 percent, new data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities suggests.