The knee jerk reaction for most of us is "no" as more jobless benefits would seem to result in uninspired job hunts. But here's another side to it. In 3 smart reasons to extend unemployment benefits, James Pethokoukis quotes three reasons his colleague Michael Strain presented in a WaPo interview. Here's the short version:
1. Ordinarily one would expect unemployment insurance to lengthen unemployment. But that hasn't been the case in this recession.
2. If individuals take more time to look for a job they may be more likely to find one they'll stick with for a longer time than if they simply took the first job that came along.
3. Many of the long term unemployed are educated, have kids, and are in their earning prime. It seems unlikely that they are dragging their feet in the job hunt because of the unemployment checks.
That last one in particular makes a lot of sense. As for how to get workers back to work, see Pethokoukis again in Here’s what the GOP should propose for ending America’s jobs crisis, which recommends, among other things, relaxing occupational licensing requirements, lowering the minimum wage for some jobs, and relocation subsidies so the unemployed can move to the places where the jobs are.
Although not mentioned specifically, a repeal of Obamacare would eliminate a big hindrance to job creation.