Saturday, September 25, 2021

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    The end of federal unemployment benefits leaves a lot of uncertainty and fear

    Women are waiting in line outside the temporary unemployment office in Frankfort, Kentucky in June.

    Brian Woolston | Reuters

    Pandemic unemployment allowance

    Federal Government Expands Safety Net for Unemployed To a historic degree Last year, the United States was on the verge of the fastest recession in history. The CARES Act, passed in March 2020, raises unemployment benefits by $ 600 a week (and then $ 300 a week) and is not normally covered by state benefits such as self-employed workers, gig workers and part-time workers. Provided assistance to workers. And we have extended the period during which people can collect help.

    Congress extended the program twice, in December last year and March this year, but chose not to extend it the third time.

    The Century Foundation estimates that by Labor Day, about 9 million people are ready to lose these benefits. For an additional 3 million people, weekly benefits will be reduced.

    The family is afraid of what comes next.

    “Some people will be in bad shape,” said Sylvia Allegrett, economist and co-chair of the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Wages and Employment Dynamics, on the cliffs of unemployment this weekend.

    “For many reasons, the economy hasn’t fully recovered and will not recover for some time given this unfortunate but massive covid surge across the country,” she added.

    Delta variants are already putting pressure on uneven economic recovery. The United States added 235,000 jobs in August, a significant slowdown from about 1 million in both June and July.

    Are you discouraged from working?

    Of course, some economists believe the program needs to end now, arguing that increased federal benefits provide incentives to stay home rather than looking for a job.White house officials recently signal That federal benefit should be suspended as planned in most states.

    June’s job openings reached a record high of 10 million, surpassing the official number of unemployed. Its dynamics have led some economists to question why non-workers aren’t in a hurry to get work available.

    “At the same time that employers struggle to keep their businesses running, it’s hard to justify having a program that encourages people to stay out of work. [going]”. Rachel Gresler, a researcher in economics, budget and qualifications at the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank, said.

    About half of the US states, primarily headed by the Governor of the Republican Party, withdrew from almost or all federal programs in June or July to encourage people to return to the labor market.

    “I think it [a] “It was misleading. Thank you for your work,” said Aaron Davison, 28, an unemployed person in Orlando.

    Florida ended a $ 300 weekly federal supplement to benefits in June. The rest of the program will expire this weekend.

    Davison, a ticket gate clerk at Universal Studios Florida theme parks, has used unemployment benefits to help parents who live together and are unable to work due to medical problems. He has been actively applying for work for a few weeks, but nothing has landed yet.

    Without a job or unemployment allowance, he expects to rely on the money raised from the GoFundMe page to make money.

    “”[An] The extension could have saved the family from financial ruin, “Davison said.

    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh called on high-unemployment states to continue to provide assistance to gig workers and long-term unemployed using federal funding allocated by the US Relief Program.

    appear Very few, if any, plans to do soHowever. The US Treasury declined to comment. A spokeswoman said the US Department of Labor does not oversee the use of these federal funds and therefore does not track state decisions.

    Some economists are concerned that cutting off profits quickly can further delay economic recovery while people struggle to find a job.

    For example, according to a recent paper written by Columbia University, Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and university researchers, the unemployed were in states that ended federal interests in June and did not. Compared to that, I was more likely to find a job. Of Toronto.

    However, about seven out of eight beneficiaries in these states have not yet been rehired by early August, leading to a total reduction in household spending of about $ 2 billion.

    52-year-old Tammy Dotson had to cut spending after South Carolina officials withdrew federal benefits in June. Dodson, who repaired a rental home before the pandemic, is having a hard time drumming up his business. This is due to the fear of face-to-face work associated with Covid.

    “We are having a hard time paying invoices,” said self-employed Dodson. “how is it [people] Who can’t get back to work, or can something stop them and look for a job? “She asked.

    Factors beyond the benefits

    Factors other than strengthening unemployment allowances may play a greater role in preventing many Americans from returning to work, according to labor economists. For example, after months off from work, some have reassessed their flexibility and career.

    Former Philadelphia travel agency Daniel Meath, 30, doesn’t want to go back to a 9-5 job. She plans to rely on freelance work such as answering machines, pet sitting, clothing sales, and vacation planning to pay invoices when the unemployment allowance ends.

    She said she could also drive for Instacart if she couldn’t make enough money to cover her expenses that way.

    “I think I have enough backup that should be okay,” she said.

    Daniel Meath, 30, decided she didn’t want to go back to her traditional post-pandemic work.

    Daniel Meath

    Others may still be on the sidelines due to ongoing public health risks, childcare constraints, inadequate salaries and benefits. according to To Fiona Greig, co-chairman of the JP Morgan Chase Institute.

    After a pandemic depletion in her small motivational speaker business in West Bend, Wisconsin, 42-year-old Chenon Hussey received a pandemic unemployment allowance. A few months ago she found a part-time job as a county government mental health counselor, but her time is inconsistent every week.

    Hussey and her husband have four children living at home, a six-year-old daughter and three teenage daughters. One has a developmental disability. They are worried that if they can’t keep paying out of their pockets for the intensive care she needs, they may have to move their special needs children to a group home.

    Chenon Hussey and her husband on the left are worried about feeding a family, including one child with special needs, when federal unemployment benefits end.

    bgraves photo

    “We don’t know what we’re trying to do,” said Hassy, ​​who co-founded the Wisconsin Unemployment Action Group during the pandemic.

    Her husband, a master welder, also lost his job during the pandemic, but was able to take advantage of the state’s unemployment. Still, his weekly check will be reduced by $ 300 when the benefits end this weekend. According to Hussey, he has applied for a job but has not yet found a suitable one.

    “All the jobs he applied for were a $ 20 hourly wage cut,” Hussey said. “It’s not worth it.

    “It will cost our family more than it gets.”

    Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of Universal Studios and CNBC.

    The end of federal unemployment benefits leaves a lot of uncertainty and fear

    Source link The end of federal unemployment benefits leaves a lot of uncertainty and fear

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