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Many workers earn more on unemployment than in their former jobs

CBS News reports that, for many low-wage workers, enhanced jobless benefits will exceed their previous paychecks.

Editor's note: The video in this story is from May 12th and reports that if your job calls you back into work, you must go or risk losing your unemployment benefits

HOUSTON — Unemployment is sometimes paying better than employment, CBS NEWS reports.

About 68% of unemployed workers will get unemployment benefits that top what they previously earned at work, University of Chicago economists Peter Ganong, Pascal Noel and Joseph Vavra wrote in a recent paper.

The pattern can be seen nationwide, but CBS reports it's especially common in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Montana.

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In short, unemployment benefits are based in part on a worker's earnings but can vary widely. Payments can range from the low $100s to even $500 or more in certain states. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act then provides an additional $600 per week on top of the state aid.

Don’t get too comfortable, however. The federal government’s expanded benefits are set to expire at the end of July for now but could be extended into early next year.

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The University of Chicago economists said the pandemic has most benefited (financially) unemployed janitors, health care aides and food service workers.

You can read this CBS story in its entirety here

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