Several key COVID-era unemployment programs are ending, cutting federal aid to an estimated 7.5 million Americans.
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The idea behind the benefits was to help Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic and included a $300/week federal payment.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation which provided financial relief to those who already exhausted their state’s unemployment benefits.
- Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation which provided $100 a week for those who worked as both an independent contractor and employee.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance which expanded eligibility to include self-employed individuals and freelancers.
This follows an underwhelming August jobs report that saw 500,000 fewer jobs added last month than what was expected. People had to be actively looking for a job to receive the weekly checks.
Critics of the enhanced benefits say the extra money discouraged people from getting back to work. Many experts say COVID-19, not unemployment benefits, will determine the pace of the economic recovery.
“The delta strain results in way more people getting sick and more businesses shutting down in more places. That’s going to overwhelm any effect, I think, that we’d reasonably see from the expiration of unemployment benefits,” said Matt Weidinger of the American Enterprise Institute.
Video: 3 pandemic-era job programs end this week (WCVB Boston)
3 pandemic-era job programs end this week
Childcare is another concern as many parents say they are unable to rejoin the workforce.
The Biden administration is calling on states to use emergency COVID-19 funds to provide additional benefits.
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This follows an underwhelming August jobs report that saw 500,000 fewer jobs added last month than what was expected. People had to be actively looking for a job to receive the weekly checks.Previous