April jobs report shows promise, but boosted unemployment benefits could be impacting recovery

KATY, Texas (KTRK) -- The April jobs report shows employers are hiring, but some owners continue to blame boosted benefits as a reason why the unemployment rate won't decrease.

The latest jobs report showed 266,000 jobs were created, however, the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1%.

Ambriza Social Mexican Kitchen thinks they know why this trend is happening.

The owner said he had to delay the restaurant's grand opening simply because he can't find employees.

"We should be toward the end of training," owner Julio Garcia explained.

Garcia said they've never had a problem hiring with the other locations. This time, only 30% of the front house staff is filled.

"I think unemployment benefits is the reason," Garcia said. "Why would you go to work when you're making more than when you're waiting tables, and not having to do anything?"

Unemployed Americans will continue to receive an extra $300 a week until September.

The Biden administration says the extra money isn't to blame. "I think that part of that is based on a popular misconception," White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates explained. "The fact is, you cannot receive unless you can prove you are actively looking for a job, and you cannot receive those benefits if you turn down a job offer."

White House officials say to help people, Congress should pass the American Jobs and Families Plan. The price tag is more than $4 trillion, but money officials said it will create jobs, and help families with childcare.

"Independent economists have said to us they will help us get to 20 million new jobs over the next 10 years through making the biggest investments in the middle class," Bates said. "The biggest since World War II."

Economists tell ABC13 the plans aren't likely to create many jobs, however, they say declining COVID-19 cases will help this summer.

Plus, childcare assistance is already here. Workforce Solutions offers parents a childcare scholarship. Belinda Russell received it and is now getting help with childcare for a year.

"This was a great stress reliever," Russell said. "I didn't have to worry about paying so much for childcare. I didn't have to worry about my son being unsafe."

There are eligibility requirements. You have to live in the Houston area, work or go to school for 25 hours a week, and meet income requirements, which, for a family of four, is $54,000.

"Depending on your earnings, we could pay 100% of that cost," Workforce Solutions spokesperson Michelle Castrow explained.

It takes a couple weeks to process the application. With school about to let out for the summer, it's a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the program.

For information on childcare help, visit the Workforce Solutions website.

Visit here if you're interested in a job at Ambriza's.

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