Want $1,500? Get a Job and Keep It!!


Aden Scarbro, Writer

Are you currently unemployed and want some money? Jim Justice has you covered! In April 2020 West Virginia’s Unemployment Rate was the highest it’s been in years at 15.6%. The unemployment rate has dropped drastically since then. The unemployment rate stands about 3.7% right now for the state of WV. WV Gov. Jim Justice announced that his new program started on Feb 1st and it will run until August 12, 2022 or until funding is extended. It offers $1,500 as a one time compensation for people that can get a job and keep it for 8 weeks! You must be able to work at least 32 hours a week for 8 weeks in order to be eligible. People that are interested should complete the pre-screening questionnaire and be able to provide proof of a current West Virginia residency. Eligible candidates must be currently unemployed.

Justice said in the conference revealing this plan, “Oklahoma has this program in place and it’s done really good. It’s brought a lot of people back into the workforce for good.” The population is declining in WV fast and so are the jobs. Justice says this incentive will get people ready to get a job. He stated,“That’s what we want. We don’t want an eight-week stint. We want you to come back, get a taste, and the value and the pride to be back working, because that’s what West Virginians do.” 

Some critics speak out in forms of their opinions. Facebook users wonder “What happens to the ones who have worked for the past 15 years?” “What about the nurses that have worked through the COVID-19 Pandemic?” People are criticizing the plan because some worry, “I have had a job since the age of 15, what about me?” Nurses have had a hard time managing COVID-19 and its effect on the world, along with many other professions, which have led to career burnout.

Others like the Unemployment Plan, with comments on social media like this one from Caleb K., “Hey I would love $1,500 to be honest. I’m trying to get my wedding planned.” An anonymous Snapchat user commented, “It’s a good idea, no one wants to work the basic jobs like the food business and the $1,500 plus what they make hourly will put some money in their pockets.” So in some ways this plan can be beneficial, but will it last as a long term fix? Will it fix the economy of WV? Only time, and a diminishing unemployment rate, will tell.