If the unemployed were rich men (or women), paying the bills without a job might not be difficult. But if they aren't, they might find unemployment benefits inadequate for even basic living expenses. The average weekly unemployment check is:
This figure, which comes from a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of Department of Labor data, shows why it's unlikely many people are passing up jobs in favor of continuing to collect unemployment checks. With average weekly wages around $800, it doesn't make sense. And because the size of unemployment benefits are linked to pre-unemployment wages, even people who had below-average earnings aren't seeing an income hike when they lose their jobs. Most people want to get back to work and earn a good living, but the jobs aren't there.