Unemployment insurance not behind labor shortage -Yellen

The White House is pressing for trillions of dollars more in spending on infrastructure, education and other priorities. Republicans, however, object to the high price tag of Biden's initiatives and critics have raised concerns about inflation and a disincentive, thanks to generous unemployment benefits, for people to return to the workforce.

The White House dismissed that criticism on Friday.

"If it were really the extra benefits that were holding back hiring, you'd expect to see that either in states, or for workers, or in sectors where the replacement rate due to UI (unemployment insurance) is very high - you'd expect to see lower job finding rates," Yellen told reporters at the White House to discuss April's jobs report.

"In fact what you see is the exact opposite."

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