September 6, is celebrated as Labor Day in the United States, and millions of jobless people across the country have been deprived of Unemployment Benefits.
According to AP, millions of jobless Americans lost their unemployment benefits on Monday, leaving only a handful of economic support programs for those who are still being hit financially by the year-and-a-half-old coronavirus pandemic.
Two critical programs expired on Monday. One provided jobless aid to self-employed and gig workers and another provided benefits to those who have been unemployed for more than six months. Further, the Biden administration’s $300 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit also ran out on Monday. It’s estimated that roughly 8.9 million Americans will lose all or some of these benefits.
While the White House has encouraged states to keep paying the $300 weekly benefit by using money from the stimulus bills, no states have opted to do so. Many states even opted out of the federal program early after some businesses complained that they couldn’t find enough people to hire.
The ending of these programs comes as the U.S. economy has recovered from the pandemic, but with substantial gaps in the recovery. The Labor Department says there are still 5.7 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic.
Americans still financially struggling in the pandemic will find a smaller patchwork of social support programs, both at the state level and through the federal government.
Those unemployed less than six months will still be able to collect their benefits, but the amount will fall back to the level that each state pays. The average weekly check is roughly $387, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, but varies greatly state by state.