White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pushed back on Monday after Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy suggested that people are refusing to go to work because "unemployment benefits are so good."
Doocy asked the question during Monday's White House press briefing.
"Unemployment only rose by about 266,000 jobs in April," Doocy said. "How does the White House know that people are just choosing not to apply for jobs because the extra unemployment benefits are so good?"
"We have looked at the data," Psaki explained. "We don't see much evidence that the extra unemployment insurance is a major driver in people not rejoining the work force. We actually see the data and our analysis shows that the lack of vaccinations, the lower rate, which is why I refer to the data and the week that it was taken -- it has an impact. Child care has an impact. Schools reopening has an impact."
"But there's also the need to pay a livable working wage," she added. "And that's one of the reasons the president will talk about that this afternoon."
Doocy disagreed: "Anybody who is making $32,000 a year is better off financially just taking the unemployment benefits. So is the White House creating an incentive just to stay home?"
"Well, again, the majority of economists internally and externally at the White House don't feel that unemployment insurance -- something that was done at a time to help unemployed people get through a very difficult economic downturn during a pandemic -- is a major driver in our unemployment data," Psaki insisted. "There are other factors, bigger factors that were contributing, have been contributing to the [jobs] numbers we saw on Friday. That's what we're working to address."
Watch the video below from C-SPAN.