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ICYMI — Politico: Economy Hurting After Congress Fails To Act On Stimulus

After Senator Thom Tillis decided to head out on vacation and walk away from COVID relief negotiations, North Carolinians are paying the price as Tillis’ inaction further harms the economy and leaves Americans with no relief in sight, as unemployment numbers rise and hiring slows down.  

Tillis and Senate Republicans let emergency federal unemployment benefits expire at the end of last month while they packed up for recess and walked away from COVID relief negotiations. As a result, unemployed North Carolinians are struggling to make ends meet at the same time businesses have rolled back hiring due to decreased spending. Unemployment numbers also continue to rise as thousands of North Carolinians face evictions as state and federal eviction moratoriums expire. 

It’s past time for Tillis to do his job, return to Washington and secure critical relief for North Carolina families. Cal has repeatedly stood up for North Carolinians and called out the harmful consequences of Congressional inaction. Cal will continue calling on Congress to do its job and reach a deal to help North Carolinians and get our economy working.

Politico: Economy hurting after Congress fails to act on stimulus


August 24, 2020

  • Just weeks after Washington lawmakers allowed a $600-a-week boost in payments for millions of unemployed workers to expire, the economy is already starting to feel the pain.
  • The number of workers lining up for jobless aid has been rising. The retail and delivery sectors, which especially benefited from laid-off Americans spending the extra cash, have cut back on hiring.
  • Unemployment insurance added about $25 billion a week to the economy during the four months the additional aid was in place, and now since the expiration of the extra benefit, it’s running closer to $10 billion, former U.S. Treasury economist Ernie Tedeschi said. That’s going to have “devastating individual implications for the families that receive that payment and also going to have economic implications for America as a whole,” he said.
  • Hiring, hours worked and the number of employees working over the last six weeks — a period that began before the extra unemployment aid ended on July 31 — has slowed down or flatlined, according to data from workforce management platforms Kronos and Homebase.
  • “We’re expecting the next few months to be — even barring a significant recurrence of some Covid hot spots — a very slow recovery,” said David Gilbertson, vice president at Kronos.
  • But the lack of a pickup in business activity is “a warning sign,” said Ray Sandza, vice president of data and analytics at Homebase. “Any expectation that removing [unemployment insurance] benefits was going to suddenly fill a bunch of jobs was, predictably, misplaced,” he added in an email. “There just aren’t enough jobs to go around right now; it’s not a supply issue.”
  • Without another stimulus deal from Congress and less money for Americans to spend, companies are unlikely to risk expanding their workforce, meaning fewer jobs available for laid-off workers to fill and tamer growth in the economy.
  • “I’m hearing a lot of people struggling to assess their living situations over the next couple of months,” she added. “Do they potentially start looking for jobs, even if they’re in a high risk category or live with someone who’s in a higher risk category?”