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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The extra $600 a week of unemployment insurance isn't creating a disincentive for job seekers, per a new study by Yale economists.

Why it matters: Even with that extra help, millions of Americans are barely making ends meet. Now it has expired, and congressional Republicans' argument against extending it — that it rewards unemployment — isn't backed by the data.

The big picture: Some small-business owners around the country have said they believe the extra $600 a week was making it more difficult for them to hire workers. But when the Yale economists zoomed out, they found that the benefit had no effect on the labor market.

  • "Our findings don't imply that nobody is making this particular tradeoff, but what we do find is that [the extra benefit's] aggregate effect on employment is zero," Dana Scott, one of the study's authors, tells Axios.
  • In fact, there are around 14 million more unemployed people than there are jobs, per the Economic Policy Institute. "If we’re in a scenario where the jobs aren’t there, searching isn’t going to help," Scott says.

The stakes: Reducing — or doing away — with the benefit could actually lead to bigger economic problems as people have even less money in their pockets and cut back on consumer spending, she says.

Go deeper: The unemployment situation is really, really bad

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Nov 9, 2020 - Economy & Business

The jobs recovery remains far from complete

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added more jobs than expected last month — 638,000 — marking the sixth month of consecutive declines in the unemployment rate, but there are still 10 million fewer jobs filled than there were in February.

What they're saying: "The combination of elevated unemployment and part-time employment and low participation all point to significant slack in the labor market," economists at Jefferies write in a note to clients.

NYC to impose vaccine mandate on private employers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced a new COVID vaccine mandate for private companies during a Monday interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Why it matters: De Blasio said it was a "first-in-the-nation measure" and will go into effect starting Dec. 27.

D.C.-Beijing tensions are shifting markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. markets stand to lose $2 trillion in value if D.C. and Beijing drift further apart.

Why it matters: Political chasms are showing up in new securities regulations that put companies and investors in a bind. The rules are also another reflection of how much relations between the world’s largest economies have cooled, even as they remain economically interdependent.