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US Unemployment and the New Stimulus Package

BY: Giordano Proulx

With the pandemic in full swing in the United States, countless people are now out of work. Though the unemployment trends have slowed, going from 14.4% in April, to 13.0% in May, and then to 11.1 % in June, the situation remains dire. In fact, 1.4 million Americans filed for unemployment this week, a slight increase in comparison to prior weeks. Though these high unemployment rates may be a cause for concern for workers and companies alike, the numbers vary greatly by region, with Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York having unemployment rates of 17.4%, 16.6% and 15.7% respectively. In contrast, 42 states have had decreases in their unemployment rates, with the highest decreases occurring in Nevada, Hawaii and Kentucky. Looking at the United States’ macroeconomic trends, it is possible to tell that the state of affairs is improving, albeit slowly.

Responding to these high numbers, Congress unanimously passed another stimulus bill to attempt to reinvigorate the weakened American economy. The stimulus package promises another $1,200.00 cheque people earning up to $75,000.00 yearly. In addition to the base cheque, there is another $1,200.00 awarded for each dependent, maxing at three. Contrary to the last stimulus package which only awarded $500.00 for each dependent, this new package is likely to come in handy. However, with the weekly $600.00 cheques coming to an end, many fear that these stimulus bills are short sighted. Rather, some state that the extension of the weekly cheque would come in handier to the everyday American, already living paycheck to paycheck. Another major criticism of these cheques is from small and medium-sized enterprises, who state that the stimulus leads to less job applications, and therefore stranding companies while leaving them teetering on the precipice of insolvency. 

With both the economy and the everyday citizen struggling, it should be of little surprise to see more large companies file for bankruptcy, joining the sizable number that have already done so. Moreover, Americans are facing a difficult set of circumstances, with little government aid other than some stimulus. Many must now resort to bootstrapping to navigate their precarious situations.

*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not necessarily reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.


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