As a consequence of the year-and-a-half-old coronavirus pandemic, two major unemployment compensation programs have expired, leaving millions of individuals with little economic options.
Programs that Expired on Monday
In a recently published article in the Associated Press, two major programs came to an end on Monday. The first provided help to self-employed and gig workers, while the second provided benefits to those who had been jobless for more than six months. In addition, the Biden administration’s $300 weekly supplemental jobless compensation program ended on Monday.
Approximately 8.9 million Americans will have their benefits reduced or eliminated entirely. Despite the White House’s request that states continue to pay the $300 weekly benefit using stimulus money, no states have opted to do so. Many states opted out of the federal program early after numerous businesses complained that they couldn’t find enough people to hire.
Meanwhile, the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said that the $650 billion helped millions of Americans who lost their jobs pay their rent and bills, but that millions more may lose their houses, according to a report published in US News.
Other Benefits Millions of Americans Can Still Enjoy
Americans who are still struggling financially as a consequence of the pandemic will find a reduced hodgepodge of local and federal social assistance programs. The White House approved a 25 percent increase in food stamp payments, often known as SNAP benefits, last month. The boost will continue indefinitely for the 42.7 million Americans who receive these payments.
Meanwhile, although the federal eviction moratorium has expired, a dozen Democratic-controlled states have extended their moratoriums, including California, New York, Washington, Illinois, and Minnesota. New York’s eviction moratorium has been extended until January 15th.
Furthermore, individuals who have been unemployed for less than six months will continue to receive benefits, but the amount will be lowered to the amount paid by each state. The average weekly check, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, is $387, but this varies considerably by state.
However, Peter McCrory and Daniel Silver, JPMorgan economists, found a “zero correlation” between job growth and state decisions to remove federal unemployment benefits. Kyle Coombs, an economist at Columbia University, found very modest benefits.
There are still 5.7 million fewer jobs than there were before the pandemic, according to the Labor Department. On the other side, as the US economy recovers from the pandemic, these government programs will be phased out, but there will be major gaps in the recovery.