Written By: Victor Ocasio
Tens of thousands of Long Islanders are now making more on unemployment than they did working, prompting concerns among business owners and highlighting the state of wage stagnation across the country.
Under New York’s regular unemployment system, eligible recipients of jobless aid could expect to see anywhere from $182 to $504 per week, depending on their most recent wages. Thanks to supplemental aid through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, unemployment recipients receive an additional $600 per week on top of their normal benefits for the first four months of their unemployment, ending July 31.
“If you were a lower wage earner, it’s possible you can be making more money than when you were employed,” said Rob Basso, chief executive of Associated Human Capital Management in Plainview, which handles payroll and HR functions for about 1,000 small- and mid-size firms.
The extra $600 a week is equivalent to earning $15 an hour for a 40-hour workweek. Add that to the minimum state unemployment benefit of $182, and you get $782, the equivalent of $19.55 an hour for 40 hours.