Over 7 Million Americans Set to Lose Unemployment Benefits

Over seven million Americans are set to fall off a “benefits cliff” as the September deadline looms for an end to federal pandemic unemployment aid programs, with dim prospects for an extension in light of surging demand for labor. Created to help Americans weather the economic impact of the outbreak, the various programs are due to run out on Sept. 6. While progressive groups, along with some Democrats, have called for the programs to be extended, there is reluctance on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill for such a move, given the record-high number of job openings, layoffs being at a record low, and businesses reporting difficulties hiring workers. Lawmakers last March established three new programs with the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), covering workers typically ineligible for regular state unemployment insurance benefits, including freelancers and gig workers; Pandemic …

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