WOODBRIDGE, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Unemployment is at historic levels right now.
As many states navigate potential reopening strategies, some are asking whether it's worth it to return to work when businesses do reopen?
In many cases, people are making more money receiving unemployment than they would if they were working.
FOX 5’s Tisha Lewis spoke with a bartender, out of work, in that situation.
He says he typically he makes at least $1,000 a week. On unemployment, he’s making the Virginia state unemployment maximum, about $383 a week, plus an additional $600 a week due to the coronavirus crisis.
“I’m making more than my mom right now. She works at a restaurant as a manager and she’s doing 50-55 hours a week and doing every single job because it’s just managers and I’m sitting at home making more than her, doing nothing,” said Jeremy Meyer-Thomas, a bartender.
And Thomas is not alone.
Tip money is shown in a file photo taken at a restaurant on June 7, 2012 (Photo credit: Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images)
FOX 5 Drone showed the ghost town at the Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center Friday where bars and other businesses are closed and even pickup and to-go orders are slow.
Several in the restaurant and hospitality industries were laid off or are on furlough and many are poised to get more money from unemployment than they would have typically earned, thanks to the additional $600 a week that is part of the federal stimulus package for the unemployed.
Meyer-Thomas’s situation is playing out all across the Washington, D.C. area.
In fact, the weekly maximum payments in Maryland and D.C. are higher than Virginia's, meaning any people out of work are still able to pull in more than a thousand bucks a week during the crisis.