Run into more customer service bots lately? Let Marketplace Tech know. More info
COVID & Unemployment

It’s the last month of $600-a-week unemployment benefits. What happens next?

Mitchell Hartman Jul 7, 2020
Heard on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Overall, jobless benefits are pumping about $100 billion per month into the U.S. economy. Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images
COVID & Unemployment

It’s the last month of $600-a-week unemployment benefits. What happens next?

Mitchell Hartman Jul 7, 2020
Heard on:
Overall, jobless benefits are pumping about $100 billion per month into the U.S. economy. Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

At the end of this month, millions of unemployed Americans will get their last $600-a-week federal pandemic unemployment check, unless Congress acts to extend the program.

Overall, jobless benefits are pumping about $100 billion per month into the U.S. economy. What’s that going to mean for people struggling with unemployment with bills due?

Jody Solell is 64 and works for a solar energy installer in Maryland. He was furloughed in March, and recently got called back for a very partial reopening — just 2 1/2 hours one week and 2 hours another.

Solell is still getting $880 a week on unemployment, which includes the $600 in federal pandemic benefits.

What will his family do if that runs out at the end of July?

“Uh, I haven’t even thought about that,” he said. “That’s why they make credit cards.”

Financial advisory firm The Ascent has surveyed unemployed workers and research analyst Dann Albright said, “almost two-thirds could go less than three months without the extra $600 dollars. They would borrow more money, and take more drastic cuts in their expenses.”

A recent survey by the Urban Institute finds more than 4 in 10 American households have suffered job- or income-loss during the pandemic.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.