President Biden asserted Wednesday that some working-class industries face hiring shortages due to insufficient wages.
“A lot of people who worked as waiters and waitresses decided they didn’t want to do it anymore because there were other opportunities at higher wages,” Biden said. “There’s not a lot of distinction between not going back to work in a restaurant and not going back to work in a factory, so people are looking to change the opportunities, to change what they’re doing.”
Biden spoke in response to a question posed at a CNN town hall by a restaurateur about hiring gaps across the country. He said he thought it was a question of employees “looking to make more money and to negotiate.”
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“I think your business and the tourism business are really going to be at an impasse for a little while,” he added.
Biden suggested that former waiters and waitresses who made $ 7 to $ 8 an hour give up their previous occupations for positions paying $ 15 an hour.
“If you earn less than $ 15 an hour working 40 days a week, you earn below the poverty line,” the president said.
Servers tip and can often earn well over $ 15 an hour.
Biden addressed the argument made by GOP lawmakers who have suggested hiring shortages persist in the United States because federal social stimulus programs implemented throughout the pandemic have continued.
“We are putting an end to all these things that keep people from going to work etc” Biden said.
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The president added, however, that he doesn’t think there is any evidence to support the claim that unemployment benefits have kept people from applying for restaurant jobs.
“I don’t see any evidence that this has a serious impact on this,” Biden said.
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