COVID-19

For the gig economy, emergency aid will be crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic

Kai Ryssdal and Krissy Clark Mar 26, 2020
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Scott Olson/Getty Images
COVID-19

For the gig economy, emergency aid will be crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic

Kai Ryssdal and Krissy Clark Mar 26, 2020
Scott Olson/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

As Congress finalizes the largest economic stimulus package in U.S. history, aid will be extended to an often neglected segment of the labor force.

The package includes $2 trillion dollars in cash payments for many individuals and families, business loans and extended unemployment benefits. And for the first time, gig and freelance workers will qualify for those unemployment checks.

“Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Krissy Clark, host of our documentary podcast The Uncertain Hour, about how the alternative workforce is faring in the COVID-19 recession.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What’s going on with extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

The latest: President Donald Trump signed an executive action directing $400 extra a week in unemployment benefits. But will that aid actually reach people? It’s still unclear. Trump directed federal agencies to send $300 dollars in weekly aid, taken from the federal disaster relief fund, and called on states to provide an additional $100. But states’ budgets are stretched thin as it is.

What’s the latest on evictions?

For millions of Americans, things are looking grim. Unemployment is high, and pandemic eviction moratoriums have expired in states across the country. And as many people already know, eviction is something that can haunt a person’s life for years. For instance, getting evicted can make it hard to rent again. And that can lead to spiraling poverty.

Which retailers are requiring that people wear masks when shopping? And how are they enforcing those rules?

Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, CVS, Home Depot, Costco — they all have policies that say shoppers are required to wear a mask. When an employee confronts a customer who refuses, the interaction can spin out of control, so many of these retailers are telling their workers to not enforce these mandates. But, just having them will actually get more people to wear masks.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

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