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The unemployment claims skyrocketed last week from 51,000 to 419,000. Yet businesses owners are struggling to staff their establishments. How can that be ?

During a CNN town hall even, one restaurant owner asked President Joe Biden how his administration is planning to "incentivize those that haven't returned to work yet?" Biden replied that he might be in a "bind" for a while and suggested that he pay workers a higher wage.

Yikes. That is why inflation is already happening.

“We employ hundreds of hard-working team members throughout the state of Ohio and across the country. And we’re looking to hire more every day as we try to restart our restaurant business,” restaurant owner John Lanni asked Biden. “The entire industry, amongst other industries, continue to struggle to find employees. How do you and the Biden administration plan to incentivize those that haven’t returned to work yet? Hiring is our top priority right now.”

“Well, two things, one, if you noticed, we kept you open,” Biden replied. “We spent billions of dollars to make sure restaurants could stay open. And a lot of people who now — who worked as waiters and waitresses decided that they don’t want to do that anymore because there’s other opportunities at higher wages, because there’s a lot of openings now in jobs and people are beginning to move, beginning to move.

“There’s some evidence that maintaining the ability to continue to not — to not have your — have to pay your rent so you don’t get thrown out and being able to provide for unemployment insurance has kept people from going back to work. There’s no — not much distinction between not going back to work in a restaurant and not going back to work at a factory. So people are looking to change opportunities, change what they’re doing,” he continued.

“I think it really is a matter of people deciding now that they have opportunities to do other things and there’s a shortage of employees,” Biden added later. “People are looking to make more money and to bargain. And so I think your business and the tourist business is really going to be in a bind for a little while.”

“And one the things — we’re ending all of those things that are things keeping people back from going back to work, et cetera. It will be interesting to see what happens. But my gut tells me, my gut tells me that part of it relates to, you know, you can make a good salary as a waiter or waitress,” he concluded. “One of my sister in laws is — of five sisters makes a very good salary. She works in Atlantic City. That’s where she’s from. But it is — there’s a lot of people who are looking to change their occupation. I think. But I could be wrong.”

Watch: 

TRANSCRIPT:

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Welcome back, everyone. We are live at a CNN town hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, with the president of the United States.

Straight to the audience for questions. This is John Lanni. He is the owner and co-founder of a restaurant group with 39 restaurants across the country, Mr. President. He is a Republican. John?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT: Hey, John.

QUESTION: Hey there, Mr. President. Thank you for taking my question tonight. We employ hundreds of hard-working team members throughout the state of Ohio and across the country. And we’re looking to hire more every day as we try to restart our restaurant business.

The entire industry, amongst other industries, continue to struggle to find employees. How do you and the Biden administration plan to incentivize those that haven’t returned to work yet? Hiring is our top priority right now.

BIDEN: Well, two things, one, if you noticed, we kept you open. We spent billions of dollars to make sure restaurants could stay open. And a lot of people who now — who worked as waiters and waitresses decided that they don’t want to do that anymore because there was other opportunities at higher wages, because there’s a lot of openings now in jobs and people are beginning to move, beginning to move.

There’s some evidence that maintaining the ability to continue to not — to not have your — have to pay your rent so you don’t get thrown out and being able to provide for unemployment insurance has kept people from going back to work. There’s no — not much distinction between not going back to work in a restaurant and not going back to work at a factory. So people are looking to change opportunities, change what they’re doing.

My deceased wife’s father-in-law was a restauranteur up in Syracuse, New York. And, by the way, he tried to — he had a restaurant that was in a town called Auburn, about 20,000 people, which was a flagship 24-hour-a-day restaurant that — and he offered it to me, which I would have been making five times what I would in law school to try to keep me in Syracuse. But I spent too many times at home hearing — in his home hearing a phone call, “The cook didn’t come in? He’s in a fight with his wife? What’s going on?”

BIDEN: So I would — God love you, doing what you do.

QUESTION: It’s tough.

BIDEN: But all kidding aside, I think it really is a matter of people deciding now that they have opportunities to do other things and there’s a shortage of employees. People are looking to make more money and to bargain. And so I think your business and the tourist business is really going to be in a bind for a little while.

And one the things — we’re ending all of those things that are things keeping people back from going back to work, et cetera. It will be interesting to see what happens. But my gut tells me, my gut tells me that part of it relates to, you know, you can make a good salary as a waiter or waitress.

One of my sister in laws is — of five sisters makes a very good salary. She works in Atlantic City. That’s where she’s from. But it is — there’s a lot of people who are looking to change their occupation. I think. But I could be wrong.

What a bunch of malarkey.

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