Edward Weatherby, 41, left, and his wife Stephanie, 27, and Ryan Nguyen, 24 listen to a presentation by a Disabled American Veterans organization at a job fair June 3. /Photo by Sinead Hickey/Cronkite News
By Emma Scott | Cronkite News
Stephanie Weathersby walked through the Phoenix Veterans Job Fair last week at State Farm Stadium, looking for what many of Arizona’s 600,000 unemployed are looking for: a job.
But not just any job. Weathersby needs one that covers housing costs that “just keep rising,” she said, but “the pay range has just not budged.”
“If given a chance, I think everybody would work,” said Weathersby, 37. “I don’t believe people are lazy.”
Gov. Doug Ducey has blamed the pandemic-related uptick in unemployment payments for the struggle employers are facing to hire workers, saying in a May 13 statement, “in Arizona, we’re going to use federal money to encourage people to work, instead of paying people not to work.”
Ducey and nearly half of other state governors have acted to prematurely end the increased unemployment benefits that President Joe Biden had promised would be in place until Sept. 4.
“Gov. Ducey believes the best social program is a job, and in Arizona, unlike many other states, there are plenty of jobs available,” C.J. Karamargin, Ducey’s communicatioms said.