Amid unprecedented unemployment figures and increasing infection rates across the country, with political rancor high and an uncertain path for future pandemic stimulus legislation, it can be hard to focus on the good news. But there is, in fact, good news. 12 million people's worth of it, in fact - 12 million people who did not fall into poverty, because of the CARES Act's benefits.
Giving people free money has kept 12 million people out of poverty and given the economy a crucial boost (Business Insider)
This terrific article explores several of the ways in which CARES Act funding directly helped millions avoid crushing poverty, and due to their spending, also kept some businesses from higher losses.
- One-time stimulus payments of $1,200 were critical in helping people pay rents, mortgages, credit cards and other required bills
- Recurring weekly unemployment benefits that included the additional $600 allowed many low-income people safe footing to buy groceries and other necessities, and in some cases gave them a better financial cushion.
- These individuals continued spending, allowing businesses to pull in revenue at this critical time.
- Unemployment benefits expire in July, and there is no legislation currently being considered at the Senate level (Senate Republicans will not debate the House's proposed stimulus relief).
- There continue to be a lack of jobs to return to - and this likely will continue at least into the fall. So, although some legislators want to create back-to-work incentives, for many millions there simply aren't jobs to take advantage of this.
The U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs in June, but fierce new headwinds have emerged (Washington Post)
From the article: "But new data also released Thursday by the Labor Department showed that 1.4 million people filed unemployment claims for the first time last week as many businesses reversed themselves and closed again during the surge in coronavirus cases. This trend has not fallen off in recent weeks."
One key figure from this article reports that continued jobless claims - that is, the number of people who are filing week-to-week (rather than first-time claims) continues to rise, and is now at 19.3 million people.
The CARES Act blog is intended to provide information and is accurate and true to the best of the author's knowledge. The author is not a legal, medical or financial professional and the information presented should not be considered advice and is for reference only. Lehigh Valley Public Media and its employees claim no liability for any actions taken by readers based on the information provided here.