Final payments go out this week to more than 25 million Americans who have relied on supplemental federal unemployment benefits due to the pandemic. These benefits are set to expire on July 31.
The additional $600 per week has been a lifeline for households and the economy. Recent studies show spending has increased 10% by unemployed households receiving benefits and that extending them would boost GDP and employment.
Racial minorities and women have faced greater economic hardship throughout the pandemic and would be significantly impacted if the expanded federal benefits are not renewed. Congressional Budget Office data for July projects 47% of state unemployment aid recipients are nonwhite.
Meanwhile, a surge in cases has halted reopening plans and shattered the prospect of finding new employment or returning to work in dozens of states.
Even if Congress acts to renew supplemental unemployment, it could take weeks for states to process payments. The cut potentially puts millions of Americans in financial jeopardy.