Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday threw cold water on the prospect of extending $600-per-week unemployment benefits for Americans for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an interview with ABC’s “This Week,” Mnuchin suggested that the payments, which expired last week, led to some out-of-work Americans being “overpaid” and indicated that he believed they were slowing the return of workers to the labor market.
“Unemployment is supposed to be wage replacement, so it should be tied to some percentage of wages,” he said. “The fact that we had a flat number was only an issue of an emergency where we had 30-year-old computer systems.”
“I think on the concept we absolutely agree on enhanced unemployment,” Mnuchin continued. “We want to fix the issue where in some cases people are overpaid, and we want to make sure there’s the right incentives [to get back to work].”
“In certain cases where we’re paying people more to stay home than to work, that’s created issues in the entire economy,” he added.
Read more at The Hill.