A major source of income for roughly 30 million unemployed people is set to end, threatening their ability to meet rent and pay bills and potentially undercutting the fragile economic recovery.
In March, Congress approved an extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits as part of its $2 trillion relief package aimed at offsetting the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. That additional payment expires next week unless it gets renewed.
The unemployment insurance program has emerged as a crucial source of support at a time when the jobless rate is at Depression-era levels. In May, unemployment benefits made up 6% of all U.S. income, ahead of even Social Security, and up dramatically from February, when it amounted to just 0.1% of national income. Congress enacted the extra payment for just four months, largely on the assumption that the viral outbreak would subside by late July and the economy would be well on the way to recovery. But confirmed case counts are rising in 40 states and 22 states are either reversing or pausing their reopening efforts, threatening to slow rehiring. The number of people seeking weekly jobless aid has leveled off at roughly 1.3 million, after falling steadily in May and early June. Today on AirTalk, we get the latest plus check in on the barriers still in place for those trying to receive benefits. Do you have questions? Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.
With files from the Associated Press
If your job has been affected by the coronavirus and you need consultation to help determine your employment benefits, call the Center for Workers' Rights at 916-905-1625 for help.
With guest host Libby Denkmann.
Daniela Urban, executive director of the Center for Workers' Rights in Sacramento which advocates for workplace justice, she’s also special counsel at Legal Aid at Work, a San Francisco based nonprofit law firm that assists low-income working families throughout California