Amish Finally Cotton to Unemployment Checks

Church elders ease restrictions to help workers weather recession
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2009 9:06 AM CDT
A lack of affordable farmland and a growing population has turned a growing number of Amish to factory work instead of farming.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Some Amish have decided unemployment benefits are one modern invention they can’t afford to shun, reports the Los Angeles Times. The shrinking supply of affordable farmland has forced a growing number of Amish men into factory work in recent years, and church elders relented on restrictions on government aid as jobs dried up and it became apparent returning to the land was not an option.

“No one says go out and do it,” one Amish bishop said. “But when they have to feed their families, we thought it would be OK to accept some of it, even though we would rather not.” Some Amish men desperate for work have gone a step further and left the church for the Mennonite order, which allows them to drive cars.