Some unemployed workers may end up making more money off the job

Published: Apr. 8, 2020 at 4:36 PM EDT
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(04/08/2020) -- Unemployment numbers are skyrocketing and many people are off the job struggling to make ends meet during this difficult time. But for some people, unemployment could feel like they got a raise, and they're making more money by staying off the clock.

"Somebody could make 2, 3, $400 more in revenue over a 16 week period of time, and with some team members it's creating a morale issue," said Keitch Kirby, who owns Curbco -- a company he said that's run like a public works department.

He said workers who have been laid off because of the pandemic could end up making more money than if they were actually working. He has a few of them within his own company.

What's allowing that to happen is the additional $600 per week authorized through the CARES Act. Michigan unemployment benefits cap at $362 dollars a week, based on income.

That makes for a grand total of $962 dollars a week, maximum.

"The situation that we're in right now. We're all going to pay for this for a long time. Nothing is free," Kirby said.

He said more needs to be done to reward those who are on the front lines of this pandemic.

"Unfortunately, I think we have to throw more money at it. I think we have to share with the people that have not stepped out of the work zone, that have been there every day, that have shown up," he said.