7 Million+ Americans Set To Lose Unemployment Benefits After Labor Day

Next month, more than 7 million unemployed Americans are expected to lose the extended unemployment benefits Congress first passed via the March 2020 CARES Act, and then extended through the American Rescue Plan.

Gig workers, contractors, recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and Americans receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation will all see their benefits come to an end right after Labor Day.

The additional $300 that was being distributed under “traditional unemployment” benefits will also be discontinued.

The expiration date of the aid is troubling some lawmakers. Lawmakers’ effort to pass the appropriate legislation to extend aid is more troubling. Some advocates believe that the date should be extended because of the rise in COVID-19 infections — especially with the surge of the delta variant, which is responsible for over half of new infections.

“By cutting this off, we’re going to exacerbate the inequity that already exists without economy,” Jenna Gerry, senior staff attorney with the National Employment Law Project, said.

“Our long-term unemployed, our Black and Latinx workers continue to need these benefits because, due to systemic racism, they face longer periods of unemployment.”

The delta variant’s impact on the economy is unknown at this moment. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told students and teachers during a virtual question and answer session that “COVID is still with us… and that is likely to continue to be the case for a while.”

“What we’ve seen is with successive waves of COVID over the past year, and some months now, there has tended to be less in the way of economic implications from each wave,” the chairman said. “We will see whether that is the case with the delta variety, but it’s certainly not an unreasonable expectation.”

In July, before the Delta variant started to take hold across the United States, President Biden said it would “make sense” for those programs to lapse in September.

However, earlier this month, White House Press secretary Jen Psaki said, “At this point, they’re expiring at the beginning of September. Nothing has changed on that front, but a final decision has not been made.”

The unemployment rate has been dropping in recent months, and legislation to extend the benefits would almost certainly face opposition not only from Republicans but some Democratic lawmakers as well.

 

About RavenH

Raven Haywood is a journalist for 10+ years. Graduate from Howard University.

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