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Michele Siekerka

NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka, Esq.

NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka says the state needs to do more to ensure people who are collecting unemployment benefits are actually looking for work, and that includes creating an online portal for businesses to report those who refuse jobs.

In an op-ed in today’s edition of ROI-NJ, Siekerka made the case for reevaluating the unemployment insurance (UI) benefits process, which she said is contributing to the current hiring crisis for business owners who cannot find people to fill available jobs.  New Jersey’s economic recovery depends on businesses having employees to meet the increasing demand for goods and services as more COVID restrictions are lifted.

Siekerka said extended unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are incentivizing people to pass on work opportunities. The Department of Labor & Workforce Development should create an online portal for employers to report refusals to work because the current reporting process is antiquated and slow, Siekerka said.

“Creating a readily accessible portal would streamline this process for employers, push individuals back into safe and steady employment, and protect the health of the UI system for those who need it the most,” Siekerka said.

“At NJBIA, we also have advanced recommendations for financial assistance, which could take the form of a tax credit or grant with the goal of incentivizing employees to take up these open opportunities.”

To read the entire op-ed go here.