Second Stimulus Unemployment Update: More Than 30% Of Americans Couldn’t Last A Month Without $600 Checks

TOPLINE

As Senate Republicans look to slash the extra $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits provided by the CARES Act, 31.5% of Americans with lost income (35% of women and 26% of men) say they could not live without the supplemental checks for more than a month, according to a recent study from The Ascent, the personal finance section of The Motley Fool. 

KEY FACTS

The survey, which polled nearly 2,000 Americans who have experienced income loss since March, showed that 28% of women and 20% of men have lost their entire income because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

It also revealed that the most vulnerable workers—those earning less than $15,000 per year—were the most likely to lose their entire income compared to those who earn more. 

Supplemental federal unemployment insurance has become one of the most contentious issues in Washington as lawmakers scramble to put together another coronavirus relief package. 

The CARES Act provided for an extra $600 per week in federal unemployment aid on top of what people received from states—Democrats are adamant that this benefit be extended (at present, it expires on July 31), but most Republicans say the payments are too large. 

Republicans have proposed reducing the payment to $200 per week until states are able to implement a 70% wage replacement plan, which would need to be calculated for each individual worker. 

That’s a tall order for overwhelmed state unemployment offices that would struggle to pivot to a new system.

Big number

11.1%. That’s the June unemployment rate. It’s lower than the peak of 14.7% in April, but it’s still astronomically higher than the record lows of roughly 3% the economy saw in the months leading up to the coronavirus outbreak. As it stands now, some 30 million Americans are receiving temporary unemployment benefits. 

Key background

Negotiations are under way in Washington to put together the next round of pandemic stimulus legislation and prop up a precarious economic recovery. Senate Republicans on Monday introduced a series of splintered proposals for the next package. The Democratic proposal—the $3 trillion Heroes Act—was passed by the House of Representatives in May but ignored by the Republican-led Senate. In the coming days, representatives from the GOP, Democrats and White House will meet to hash out an agreement. 

Further reading 

Where Is The Senate GOP’s $1 Trillion HEALS Act? Here’s What We Know About The Mysteriously Splintered Proposal (Forbes)

Three Reasons Democrats Won’t Pass The HEALS Act (Forbes)

Eviction Bans, $600 Unemployment Payments, And Student Loan Forbearance: Here’s When The Key Benefits Of The CARES Act Expire (Forbes)

Are You Eligible For A Stimulus Check In GOP’s New Bill? Here’s The Latest. (Forbes)

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