The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program ended this Monday, September 6, the date that Labor Day was celebrated. This means that about 9.1 million unemployed people will stop getting this extra money.
This lack of benefits will disproportionately hurt workers of color and women with children, with the latter less likely than men to work during the pandemic due to a lack of childcare, said Andrew Stettner, Principal Investigator at Century. Foundation, an organization that drives policy changes in the US to improve people’s lives.
As of yet, there is not a sizable group of legislators calling for unemployment benefits to be extended any longer.
In addition, a White House spokesman said last week that there are no plans to assess whether they will provide more supplemental unemployment benefits, which means that they will not even consider whether to provide more of these supports.
The White House administration said there is no need for more support, as the economy is improving as more people return to the workforce.
However, the Delta variant is affecting this improvement, since Job growth slowed dramatically in August as COVID-19 infections rose.
Investment bank Morgan Stanley estimated Thursday that the economy will grow at an annual rate of 2.9% in the third quarter, markedly below its previous forecast of 6.5%. That decline largely reflects a decline in spending on federal aid.
Some analysts have proposed that unemployment benefits be reformed so that the extra cash supports are activated automatically when the unemployment rate rises and stay high or rise for certain groups, such as African American workers.
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