A massive dose of financial support for the US economy, and it’s people, have been withdrawn as of this week, testing the strength of the United State’s economic recovery amid a resurgence of COVID-19.
As of yesterday — September 6, 2021 — more than 7.5 million people lost pandemic-era jobless benefits as programs that benefited gig and part-time workers, as well as the long-term employed, completely expired. Millions of more people lost a significant amount of income as the $300 enhanced federal benefit lapsed on Saturday, September 4th.
The programs that expired include:
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which covers those not traditionally eligible for aid, including part-time workers, freelancers, the self-employed and gig workers.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which extends aid to those who have exhausted their state’s benefit period.
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), the $300 weekly boost.
The expiration of these unemployment benefits highlights a shift in America’s policy response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — away from emergency measures to support the labor market in favor of long-term changes to the safety net backed by president Biden.
However, this transition comes at an awkward time. The August Jobs Report, which was released on Friday, showed that job growth slowed in August, in response to the spike in coronavirus infections tied to the Delta variant.
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