Today, because Congress failed to extend either the $600 federal unemployment benefit or the moratorium on evictions, American workers—those currently unemployed and employed—may face even more dire economic conditions in the near future.
Knowing that upwards of 30 million Americans would lose the $600 unemployment check on July 31, the House went ahead and passed the Heroes Act nearly three months ago. Included within that stimulus package is a key component to extend the $600 unemployment check until January 2021 instead of letting it expire yesterday. However, the Senate waited until last week to begin work on its stimulus package proposal. As a result of this delay, the unemployment program designed to buttress millions of unemployed and furloughed workers through the financial disaster created by Covid-19 has now completely expired.
The $600 unemployment benefit is no more; here’s the reality on the ground.
Though the $600 unemployment benefit might return in some form, the economy continues to struggle, and this lapse with the federal unemployment program just adds much more pain and suffering to an already dire economy.
- As Jack Brewster put it in his latest Forbes’ article"The $600 expanded unemployment benefit—which has helped keep around 25 million Americans afloat during the pandemic—officially ran out at midnight on Friday. “
- Executives and managers within the corporate, healthcare, higher education and state government spaces share with me that they have been asked to accept pay cuts of up to 20% so as to reduce the number of employee layoffs their organizations will suffer across the board.
- As detailed in this SHRM Covid-19 Business Index, 20% of the income lost during this pandemic and economic crisis is happening among employed workers. Due to the wave of pay cuts across several different industries, unemployed workers are far from being the only group تكافح ماليا at this time. There is more than enough economic pain to go around. Though some, such as essential workers and the unemployed, are experiencing far greater levels of it.
- Since March, more than 54 million employees have filed new jobless claims, and many thousands of these workers report that they have yet to receive their first unemployment check (neither the regular state unemployment check nor the $600 enhanced federal unemployment benefit).
- Though some unemployed workers have returned to their jobs, approximately 32 million workers are still collecting unemployment benefits. This equates to about 20% of the American workforce.
- After slowly declining, jobless claims have been on the rise for each of the past two weeks. This means that despite all three of the coronavirus stimulus packages that have been infused into the economy—and even before Congress allowed the $600 unemployment benefit to expire yesterday—businesses and organizations were already laying off more and more employees.
- Since March—and for 19 straight weeks—there has not been one single week where fewer than a million new jobless claims have been filed. Every single week more than a million newly unemployed people are added to the roster.
- Credible reporting indicates that 42% of all job losses will become permanent, and due to this stalled (even declining) economy, many large and small businesses and organizations are preparing for future furloughs and layoffs.
- At least 150 thousand people have died due to coronavirus with many more thousands of deaths being predicted in the coming months.
- U.S. states are struggling to halt the coronavirus resurgence. More than half of the states in the U.S. still experience record-level increases in coronavirus transmissions, and many states are experiencing record-level deaths.
- Given the persistent turmoil and tragedy of Covid-19, the Senate has recently agreed with the House that a fourth stimulus relief package is unavoidable, but الفجوة between what the Senate proposed this week in the Heals Act and what the House already passed in the Heroes Act remains fairly wide.
- We learned this week that the GDP plunged a full 32.9% during the second quarter, and this represents the largest economic drop in U.S. recorded history.
- Though the Senate recessed Thursday and left for the weekend, negotiations continue between congressional leaders and White House officials.
The economy will lead the way.
According to Sergei Klebnikov with فوربس, “Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s, says the federal government’s $600 payments have the biggest “economic bang for the buck” of any fiscal support so far, more so than stimulus checks and payroll tax cuts.”
More unemployment checks will pass Congress if the economy demands it. I’ve long said that instead of paying attention to what any particular senator or representative says, pay attention to the economy. The longer the economic suffering drags on, the more pressure there will be on Congress to act not only on unemployment benefits but also on things like stimulus checks and funding for state and local governments.
As negotiations continue, it remains to be seen whether the $600 unemployment check gets reinstated or whether it will be that the amount ends up less than $600. And there is still the possibility, though unlikely, that the entire Covid-19 unemployment benefit could end completely. Today, after meeting with White House officials, Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi indicated that negotiations continue and that the conversations were productive. However, Senator Schumer did inform that there is still a wide gap to bridge to arrive at an agreeable deal.
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