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
Share Now on:
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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

Which businesses are allowed to reopen right now? And which businesses are actually doing so?

As a patchwork of states start to reopen, businesses that fall into a gray area are wondering when they can reopen. In many places, salons are still shuttered. Bars are mostly closed, too, although restaurants may be allowed to ramp up, depending on the state. “It’s kind of all over the place,” said Elizabeth Milito of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Will you be able to go on vacation this summer?

There’s no chance that this summer will be a normal season for vacations either in the U.S. or internationally. But that doesn’t mean a trip will be impossible. People will just have to be smart about it. That could mean vacations closer to home, especially with gas prices so low. Air travel will be possible this summer, even if it is a very different experience than usual.

When does the expanded COVID-19 unemployment insurance run out?

The CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump in March, authorized extra unemployment payments, increasing the amount of money, and broadening who qualifies. The increased unemployment benefits have an expiration date — an extra $600 per week the act authorized ends on July 31.

You can find answers to more questions here.

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