Business

New England businesses worry about the end of pandemic jobless benefits

Business

“Reopening the bottom part of this economy is hell.”

Unemployment benefits end on Labor Day, and New England business leaders are worried. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

New England business leaders are awaiting the impact of pandemic-era unemployment benefits running out around Labor Day.

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The cutoff will affect more than 300,000 people in Massachusetts alone, the Boston Globe reported, as employers grappling with staffing shortages hope more people will enter the job market.

Some low-paid workers will be facing a difficult decision over whether to return.

“Reopening the bottom part of this economy is hell,” said John Drew, chief executive of Action for Boston Community Development, an antipoverty agency that itself cannot find enough child care workers to staff all of its Head Start classrooms.

For workers who’ve used the time and benefits to pursue a new career, Drew said, the mindset seems to be: “Maybe I can do better than going back to that lousy job I had.”