Expanded unemployment benefits aimed at helping those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic are expected to expire on Labor Day in early September.
Despite cases of Covid-19 skyrocketing driven by the Delta variant, there appears to be no indication of extending these expanded benefits.
“There will be a few extended benefits programs, but for the most part, there’s going to be nothing available,” said Andrew Stettner, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, a liberal think tank.
The extra $300 per week in benefits has been in place since December of 2020, and programs made for those who normally aren’t eligible for unemployment will be gone. That means freelancers, gig workers, and long-term unemployment, which is estimated to be around 7.5 million workers, will lose out on benefits.
Although unemployment has improved since the beginning of the pandemic and there has been a spike in job openings, there is still uncertainty about how the lack of the programs will impact workers. Schools are closing as cases rise, and many working parents have no choice but to stay home and care for their children.
The expanded unemployment insurance was already controversial from the get-go, but only time will tell how this will impact the overall economy and unemployment rates in the near future.