Recently, Congress has announced a second stimulus package under which the unemployed Americans will get $600 stimulus payments. In addition to offering financial assistance to the unemployed citizens, the package also provides aid to the small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
In this article, we will tell you who qualifies for the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program and lots more about it.
What Is A Paycheck Protection Program?
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan program that provides cash-flow assistance to small businesses. The program is backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and originated from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
More About The Second Round Of Paycheck Protection Program
The new stimulus package provides $300 billion for financial support of small businesses, including extra PPP. In addition, the package includes provisions for simplified forgiveness for PPP loans of $150,000 or less.
The second round of the Paycheck Protection Program will have a framework similar to the first-round funding. The loan amounts will be based on the payroll costs (2.5 times for most businesses and 3.5 times for restaurants and food businesses), and the maximum loan will be $2 million, which is lesser than that given by the first program.
However, allowable expenses will be similar to that of the initial program but with the addition of safety expenditure. Note that you will need 60% to 40% allocation between payroll and non-payroll costs for full forgiveness under the second program.
Who Qualifies For The Second Round Of Paycheck Protection Program?
The following businesses are eligible for the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and sole proprietors,
- Nonprofit organizations, tribal business concerns, small businesses, veterans organizations, and small agricultural cooperatives that adhere to the SBA size standards.
- Certain small news organizations, housing cooperatives, destination marketing organizations, and 501(c)(6) nonprofits.
To qualify for the PPP loan, businesses must meet the below-listed requirements.
- Businesses must have 300 employees or less, which is down from the 500 employees in the first round
- Small businesses must have already used or plan to utilize their PPP funding received from the first round
- The business must have a reductive in its revenue by at least 25% in at least one quarter in 2020 when compared to previous quarters
- Business must have been in operation by February 15, 2020
Note – Certain types of businesses, including businesses where the primary activity is lobbying and those with at least 20% of China ownership, are not eligible for PPP.
How Can Businesses Use Funds From PPP?
The businesses can choose any period between 8 and 24 weeks to be their “covered period.” During the period, they can use the PPP funds for payroll, rent, and mortgage expenses. The second stimulus bill also adds some new expenses to the list of “qualifying expenses,” including operating expenses and costs to protect employees from COVID-19 and covered property damage.
What Counts As Payroll?
Payroll is the same as defined in the first round of PPP. They include:
- Payment of any retirement benefit (employer cost)
- Salary, commissions, wages, or similar compensation
- Allowance for dismissal or separation
- Payment for vacation, family, parental, medical, or sick leave
- Payment of cash tips or equivalent
- Payment required for the employee benefits such as insurance premiums
- Payment of local or state tax assessed on the employees’ compensation
- Group benefits including group life, vision, disability, or dental insurance
How To Calculate 25% Reduction In Revenues?
You can calculate the 25% reduction in revenues by comparing the gross receipts of your business before subtracting the expenses. You can compare them for any quarter in 2020 with the same quarter in 2019.
However, if your business was not in operation during a certain period in 2019, you can calculate the revenue reduction by following the procedure below.
Case 1– Your business was not in operation during the first or second quarter of 2019 but was in operation in the third and fourth quarter of 2019. In such a case, you can compare gross receipts from the third or fourth quarter of 2019 with any quarter in 2020 and determine whether it has reduced by 25%.
Case 2 – Your business was not in operation during the first, second, or third quarter of 2019 but was in the fourth quarter of 2019. In such a case, you can compare gross receipts from the fourth quarter of 2019 with any quarter in 2020 and determine whether it has reduced by 25%.
Case 3 – Your business was not in operation in 2019 but was in operation before February 15, 2020. In such a case, you can compare gross receipts from the first quarter of 2020 with the second, third, or fourth quarter of 2020 and determine whether it has reduced by 25%.
- Gross receipts for nonprofits and veteran’s organizations have the same definition as gross receipts under section 6033 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
- The first quarter runs from January 1 to March 31, the second quarter from April 1 to June 30, the third quarter from July 1 to Sept 30, and the fourth quarter from October 1 to December 31st.
How To Apply For PPP?
You can apply for PPP by visiting https://www.sba.gov/document/sba-form-2483-paycheck-protection-program-borrower-application-form and completing the borrower application form.
Though several details are still unclear about the Paycheck Protection Program, it is expected to provide the much needed financial support to the small businesses throughout the country. Let’s wait and watch what changes or additions the lawmakers make to the PPP in the upcoming days. Until then, collect all the necessary documents required to apply for the program and prepare yourself for the PPP.
Although the businesses have reopened, millions of Americans continue to struggle to get a job and meet their basic needs. To help the unemployed, Congress has announced a second Coronavirus stimulus package. In this post, we will guide you through the eligibility requirements to qualify for the second stimulus check and lots more. But before that, let’s learn more about the new stimulus package.
What Is The Second Stimulus Check Status?
After months of stalled negotiations, Congress has recently approved a $900 billion Coronavirus stimulus deal. However, it is yet to be signed by President Donald Trump. The package was announced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Under the newly announced stimulus bill, the qualified Americans can receive $600 payment and $300 weekly unemployment benefits (total $286). In addition, the unemployment stimulus package provides aid for the following.
1. $325 Billion For Small Businesses
About $284 billion aid will be given as forgivable loans as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), allowing businesses with employees fewer than 500 to cover payroll, utilities, and rent. Another $15 billion will be given to cultural institutions, movie theaters, and live venues as part of the Save Our Stages Act.
2. $69 Billion For Public-Health Measures (including Vaccination And Testing)
This includes funding for efforts to combat the Coronavirus pandemic, including $20 billion for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, for vaccine procurement and distribution, and the office within the Department of Health and Human Services. $9 billion will be given to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the vaccination effort.
States will also receive $22 billion for test-and-trace programs to help understand and slow down the virus’s spread.
3. $82 Billion For Schools
Spending for schools is divided between the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund ($22.7 billion) and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund ($54.3 billion).
The bill also provides funds for transportation ($45 billion), rental assistance ($25 billion), MTA ($4 billion), and additional SNAP benefits ( $13 billion).
President-elect Joe Biden and four big negotiations — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are in favor of the new stimulus bill.
Who Qualifies For The Second Stimulus Check?
The following people can qualify for the second unemployment stimulus package.
- Have filed taxes in 2018 or 2019
- Dependent children under the age of 17
- People who do not earn enough to file but get federal benefits payments, including disability benefits or Social Security retirement, Veterans Affairs benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Do not earn enough to file and do not get federal benefits, but use the IRS non-filers to input the mailing and bank information
- Earned less than $87,000 (single filers), $174,000 (married filers), $124,500 (heads of household) according to the most recent income tax return filed
- One member of a household has a Social Security number, and another has an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
Note that individuals aged 17 and older and are claimed as dependent on someone else’s tax return do not qualify for the stimulus checks.
How Much Payment Can One Receive Under The New Stimulus Bill?
Americans (adults) who have earned less than $75,000 in 2019 will get the full $600 payment, and couples who have earned less than $150,000 will get $1,200. The payments will be tapered for higher-earners, i.e., 5% of the amount by which the Adjusted Gross Incomes (AGI) exceeded their initial threshold. Payments are completely phased out for individuals earning more than $87,000 and couples earning more than $174,000.
Federal benefits recipients and individuals who have no income are eligible for the full payment.
When Will Americans Receive The Stimulus Check?
According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the second stimulus check will start going out the week of December 28, provided President Trump signs it. While people who receive benefits through Direct-deposit may get stimulus checks quickest, payments sent by mail or pre-paid debit card could take until late January 2021.
The agency will mostly use the bank account information and address collected from individuals during the first round of stimulus payments to transfer the money. People who receive Social Security benefits may not be required to submit any additional paperwork because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may likely send the stimulus benefits just as they disburse other monthly benefits.
Are Stimulus Checks Taxable?
Stimulus checks are not taxable as they are not considered as a source of income under federal laws. However, individuals who receive regular UI benefits will be subject to taxes.
Second stimulus checks are need of the hour as two federal programs are set to expire on December 26. They could help millions of Americans to pay their bills and make it through these difficult times. Let’s wait and watch if President Donald Trump will sign the bill and provide relief to the Americans or provide a different financial solution.
Vermonters who have exhausted their benefits received through the regular Unemployment and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program were eligible to collect Extended Benefits (EB). But recently, the U.S. Department Of Labor has notified the state’s Department Of Labor that it would end EB in Vermont. So, when will the extended unemployment benefits end in Vermont?
In this post, we will tell you when exactly the Extended Benefits will end in the state and what you can do post its expiration.
Ending Of Extended Unemployment Benefits Program In Vermont
On December 11, the Vermont Department Of Labor received a notification from the U.S. Department Of Labor regarding the end of the Extended Benefits in the state. According to the notification, the final benefit week will be the week ending on December 19.
The U.S. Department Of Labor decided to end the extra weeks because the Department believes Vermont’s unemployment rate has dropped below the threshold level required to receive benefits for additional weeks.
Following the notification, Governor Phil Scott stated, “Last night, at 5:52 p.m., the U.S. Department of Labor notified us via email that it would be cutting unemployment benefits to Vermont families. This decision comes at the height of a global pandemic, the middle of the holiday season, and at the start of what will be a long winter.”
“For weeks, my Administration has called on the federal government to accept the bleak reality states are facing in combating this crisis and to act in support of its citizens, who were forced into unemployment through no fault of their own. Instead, it appears it is turning its back on them, and we now need Congress to step up to fix this,” stated Governor Phil Scott in a press release.
Further, “While we’re thankful for the support we’ve received from Vermont’s congressional delegation, we hope they can persuade their colleagues to put people over politics and come to an agreement on relief funding that extends wage replacement programs and overturns the unwillingness of the bureaucracy to do the right thing as we work to defeat COVID-19,” said Governor Phil Scott.
Commissioner Harrington stated, “We are extremely disappointed that the federal government has refused to recognize the real and distinct humanitarian crisis that this pandemic has created and instead is choosing to use outdated methodology resulting in benefits being cut for struggling Vermonters.”
Harrington further said, “Thousands of families are relying on these benefits to simply survive, and the Scott Administration has been calling for the federal government and Congress to act to prevent this inevitability for weeks. We will continue to push for federal action and flexibility so states can continue providing the necessary support for families.”
What Will Happen If The Extended Unemployment Benefits End In Vermont?
Post December 19, Vermont will be one of more than 2 dozen states that have witnessed the end of the extended unemployment benefits in the past few months. Based on the most recent Department’s report, about 885 Vermonters have filed for the Extended Benefits for the week ending December 5.
As a result of the Extended Benefits ending, the maximum number of benefit weeks available to claimants has decreased from 52 to 39 weeks, further impacting claimants moving through the system.
What Can You Do Post The Ending Of The Extended Benefits?
Post the ending of the extended unemployment benefits in Vermont, you can consider the following programs to meet your needs.
1. Consider 3SquaresVT Program
3SquaresVT program can help you receive healthy and nutritious foods. To qualify for this program, your gross household income must be equal to or less than 185% of the Federal Poverty Level, and you have children and receive the VT Earned Income Tax Credit.
If you are 60 years old or are disabled, you can consider 3SquaresVT in a SNAP program. To qualify for this program, you must meet the following requirements.
- You are at least 60 years old or are receiving disability benefits
- You are not earning income from a full-time or part-time job or self-employment
2. Emergency/ General Assistance (EA/GA)
The EA/GA program can help you meet your housing, fuel, medical, dental, incidentals, personal, and burial costs. To qualify for the EA/GA program, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. They include:
- You don’t have the income to meet your basic needs
- You have an emergency need
Steps Taken By The State To Help The Unemployed Vermonters
The Vermont state government is generating a hiring pool of candidates who will be assigned various roles in the event of staffing shortages due to the pandemic outbreaks. Currently, the authorities are focusing on long term care facilities and positions such as licensed nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, and unlicensed caregivers. The authorities are encouraging individuals who are recently retired, new to the field, or work part-time to apply for the post.
Post ending of the Extended Benefits, you will be able to collect benefits only for 39 weeks and not 52 weeks. Also, with the expiration of the PEUC program on December 26, the unemployment weeks may further decrease. If you have any questions regarding the same, contact authorities at the Vermont Department Of Labor.
In a bout of great news, November saw the unemployment rate dropping to 6.7% despite the surging Coronavirus caseload across the country. However, 10.7 million citizens still remain unemployed due to the economic slowdown and shutting down of several businesses. Several experts also believe that the economic situation will get back to normal only by 2024.
Meanwhile, the government has to prioritize speeding up vaccinations and public health investment. A quick and effective vaccination policy set up by the administration can help the economy’s wheels roll much quicker than expected.
Some of the critical aspects of November’s employment report are as follows.
Major Ups and Downs in November
Several sectors, such as health care, professional and business services, & transportation, and warehousing, saw a steady increase in hiring. But the government and retail trade verticals witnessed job losses, forcing these employees to file for unemployment claims. Some of the notable numbers relating to hiring and losses for each sector are mentioned below.
The healthcare industry saw a total of 46,000 jobs being added collectively in November. Sub- sectors such as the home health care services vertical saw 13,000 jobs added, plus 21,000 physicians got hired, and 8,000 jobs were created for other health care practitioners last month. However, 12,000 job losses took place in the nursing care facilities vertical.
Professional and business services witnessed the creation of a total of 60,000 jobs, respectively. Major additions occurred under the temporary help services vertical, with 32,000 jobs being added. Services relating to the buildings and dwellings domain saw an increase of 14,000 jobs.
November also saw the transportation and warehousing sector adding 145,000 jobs. The temporary courier and messengers sub – sector added 82,000 jobs, whereas the warehousing and storage vertical added 37,000 jobs. Truck transportation being one of the most prominent verticals in the country added 13,000 jobs.
Some of the other prominent sectors, such as construction, added 27,000 jobs, and the financial activities sector added 15,000 jobs. Manufacturing being another vital sector, also added 27,000 jobs.
The government sector did not perform well and observed a decline of 99,000 jobs, whereas the retail trade vertical saw loss of 35,000 jobs.
On the whole total nonfarm payroll increased by 245,000 jobs in November, which are signs of a slow but steadily recovering economy.
Establishment Survey Data
People unemployed for a long time saw an increase of 385,000 in November, jumping to a total of 3.9 million. Long-term unemployed refers to those people who have remained unemployed for more than 27 weeks.
The average hourly earnings for employees saw a slight gain of 9 cents, and the total amount currently stands at $29.58 for private nonfarm employees on a payroll. All employees’ average workweek stood at 34.8 hours.
Household Survey Data
The unemployment rate by gender is a crucial parameter to judge the current economic situation of the country. The rate for adult mean remains the same as last month, and the rate for women has lowered a few notches compared to October, which is a good sign for a recovering economy.
To understand the unemployment rate by education, assessing the teenager lay-off rate is vital.
Unemployment for teenagers has increased to 14% from last months 13.9%, which shows signs of slow job opportunities for younger people in these turbulent times.
What’s good to note is that the white, African, Asian, Hispanic populations saw a decline in their unemployment rate compared to last month.
The Final Word
The U.S job market has been in a volatile state for quite some time now, with thousands of people across different verticals losing their jobs. But the slow and steady decline in the unemployment rate is a ray of hope for many unemployed people across the many states suffering in the country.
The pandemic-induced economic downturn has caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs. Due to the soaring unemployment rate, the federal government has announced various programs under the CARES Act, which provided financial assistance to millions of unemployed people. However, it is important to note that programs created under the CARES Act were only designed to give temporary relief and expire by year-end.
This article will tell you when the federal programs will expire and what will happen post the expiration of unemployment benefits.
When Will The Unemployment Benefits Expire?
The CARES Act included several provisions such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), etc.
The federal government funded the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and provided an additional $600 weekly unemployment benefits to all the claimants. The program ended on July 31, 2020, leaving many people with benefits lower than $400.
To help people meet their needs post the expiration of $600 benefits, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that provided $300 extra benefits for up to 4 to 5 weeks.
Now, two more federal unemployment programs are nearing the expiration date: the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
The PEUC program was funded entirely by the federal government. It provided an additional 13 weeks of benefits to those who exhausted payments received through the regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) program. The program is payable through December 26, 2020.
On the other hand, the PUA provided benefits to the self-employed, gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors who otherwise do not qualify for unemployment benefits. The program is payable through December 26, 2020. PUA benefits last for 39 weeks in all states and 46 weeks in a subset of high unemployment states.
What Will Happen With The Expiration Of Unemployment Benefits?
On the PUA and PEUC program’s expiration, an approximate 7.3 million workers will see their PUA benefits ending on December 26, and 945,000 people before December. And about 4.6 million workers will see their PEUC benefits ending on December 26. That is, a total of 12 million workers not receiving federal benefits post-December 26, 2020. The ending of unemployment benefits could push many households into poverty and hinder economic recovery.
Andrew Stettner, an expert at the Century Foundation, stated, “The financial support from government stimulus programs has been credited with keeping many businesses and households afloat as they coped with the fallout from COVID-19 and nationwide shutdowns. The upcoming benefits cliff may prove to be another shock to households and the economy.”
Stettner further added, “People don’t realize that most of the people collecting unemployment benefits now will be cut off on December 26. Most people will be going from that $200 to $300 a week to nothing.”
Will There Be A New Stimulus Package?
The White House and Members of Congress have been negotiating the second stimulus package for months. However, the negotiation is running on a separate track.
In May, the House of Representatives signed the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion proposal, which would provide federal jobless aid into 2021. However, the Republican-held Senate did not consider the bill and introduced the HEALS Act that decreased jobless aid until 2020.
In the latest discussions, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “The Democratic staff members and Republicans will see if more economic help can be part of the federal funding for services and programs next year.” The statement came after President-elect Joe Biden called on Congress to approve the $2.2 trillion HEROES Act that the House passed in May. Biden also has a new stimulus plan, but he cannot act on it until January 20, 2021.
However, there are a few possibilities that some advancements on the stimulus bill may take place before January 20, 2021. Some of them include:
1. A stimulus Bill Fails In The Senate Or House
The Republicans and the Democrats may propose their own stimulus bills that pass in their majority chambers but fail to be considered by the other party. In such a situation, Congress may try again after Biden is sworn as a president.
2. A stimulus Deal Is Announced Before January 20, 2021
If a stimulus bill is finalized and President Donald Trump signs it, the stimulus checks would likely begin to reach the unemployed people before the end of 2020.
Can You Still Receive Regular Unemployment Benefits?
Yes, you can continue to receive regular unemployment benefits post the expiration of federal programs. Generally, states provide benefits for up to 28 weeks, but a few states provide benefits for maximum 26 weeks.
What To Do When Unemployment Benefits Are Exhausted?
If you have exhausted your regular unemployment benefits, apply for Extended Benefits (if your state includes the program) or PEUC or PUA (till December 26). but if you have exhausted all your unemployment benefits (including Extended Benefits, PEUC and PUA), you will no longer be able to collect benefits.
In such situations, you must:
- Find A New Job – There is no doubt that industries are still dealing with unprecedented unemployment. However, you must try hard to find a job to meet your end needs. Analyze your sector and create an effective plan for re-entering the workforce. If there is little or no opportunity in your work field, consider taking up part-time jobs like delivering food or groceries that could help you generate income.
- Cut Your Expenses – Cut your unnecessary expenses and save that money to meet your basic needs like food, medical bills, etc. Making small cutbacks can help you to put a little extra into savings every month.
- Monitor Your Credit Card For Changes – Monitor your credit for any changes. This can help you catch overspending and also frauds.
With federal unemployment benefits ending, millions of Americans dependent on benefits will undoubtedly face tough times. If you are one among them who will lose the only income, do not get devastated. Keep looking for a new job while opting for alternative programs like Medicaid, SNAP, etc., to reduce your medical and food bills.
Although Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the Cyber Monday 2020 shopping season will look different this year, many delivery and retailer companies are preparing for a peak shopping season by adding a large workforce to their teams. If you are looking for jobs to help fund your holiday shopping and pay other bills, then the following list of seasonal Thanksgiving jobs in 2020 are definitely worth checking out.
Top Seasonal Thanksgiving Jobs For 2020
Some of the popular seasonal Thanksgiving jobs include, but are not limited to:
1. Retailer Staff
Retail stores are looking to increase their number of floor attendants to deal with customers’ increased volume during this Thanksgiving. The rate of pay for this job may vary depending on companies and locations.
Retail stores include both full-time and part-time positions within production and customer service and distribution. They may offer work-from-home positions for those dealing with inbound sales and customer service. If you are working from stores, you will be required to wear employer-provided PPE and follow proper social distancing guidelines.
2. Driver And Delivery Package Services
Drivers and helpers are in high demand this Thanksgiving season. If you don’t know how to drive, you can opt for package delivery services, but you must be able to lift goods and work flexible hours. You can apply for these jobs by visiting the company websites and filling the application form.
3. Gift Wrapper
Gift wrapping is one of the trending seasonal Thanksgiving jobs for 2020. Workers will be appropriately trained to wrap customer purchases using color paper, ribbons, and tags. They will also teach you how to work with irregularly shaped items, wrap fragile gifts, hide price tags, and when to use gift bags.
4. Customer Service Representative
Customer service is one of the fastest-growing job roles. You will find plenty of opportunities in both online and in-person positions during the Thanksgiving season. You can also find weekend and evening jobs if you want to work around your day job.
Companies Hiring For Seasonal Jobs
Some of the companies hiring for seasonal jobs are:
The eCommerce giant has announced that it will hire around 100,000 new workers across the U.S. and Canada with $15 an hour as a minimum wage. The company includes both full-time and part-time roles with sign-on bonuses up to $1,000 in some cities. The newly hired workers’ key role will include sorting inventory and fulfilling orders in its delivery stations and fulfillment centers.
In addition to seasonal hiring, the company is in need to fill 33,000 technology and corporate jobs in various cities. The divisions include AWS, operations technology, Alexa, and Prime Video.
UPS announced it would hire more than 100,000 full-time and part-time seasonal workers for various job roles, including drivers, package handlers, personal vehicle drivers, and driver-helpers. On average, 35% of UPS seasonal jobs convert into permanent roles. Seasonal drivers earn about $21 an hour and part-time Package handlers about $14.50 an hour.
FedEx is looking to hire 70,000 seasonal workers to its workforce. The majority of the staff will be a part of the FedEx Ground network, including warehouse package handlers and residential delivery drivers.
The company is looking to hire 130,000 new workers across its supply chain locations and retail stores. Retail roles include helping maintain safe shopping conditions, interacting with shoppers, and staffing the drive-up stations and order pickup. It also needs staffers to fulfill online orders and receive, process freight, pack, and load shipments. All job roles start at a minimum of $15 an hour.
1-800-Flowers.com Inc. is one among the companies that are looking to hire for seasonal jobs. The company is considering adding more work-from-home positions. 1-800-Flowers said it would hire 10,000 seasonal workers. 1,000 among them will be remote customer service agents.
Other companies hiring for seasonal jobs for 2020 include Best Buy, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Walmart, etc.
It’s a myth that hiring doesn’t happen during the holiday season. In fact, hiring during this period tends to be higher. Companies develop new needs, meaning that they may be looking to expand their team to meet their needs. Therefore, keep looking actively during Thanksgiving time, including the weekends.
The North Carolina Department Of Commerce Employment Security provided benefits for up to 9.6 weeks due to the soaring unemployment rate. However, recently, the Department announced that it would reduce the number of extended unemployment benefits weeks extended. This article will tell you why there is a reduction in the extended benefits in North Carolina and lots more.
Why Is There A Reduction In The Extended Benefits In North Carolina?
The unemployment rate in North Carolina was as high as 8.5% in July. Therefore, the Department Of Commerce Employment Security had announced the extended benefits in the state. However, with the economy reopening, the North Carolina unemployment rate fell 7.3% in September.
Although the state’s unemployment rate rose by 3.6% compared to last year. Since the rate decreased compared to previous months, the Department announced to reduce the extended benefits beginning October 10.
That means the North Carolinians will receive a total of 31 weeks of unemployment benefits (12 weeks of regular Unemployment Insurance + 13 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits + 6 weeks of extended benefits).
Since mid-March, about 1.33 million North Carolinians have filed an unemployment claim. Many people have also filed a second initial unemployment claim to begin receiving federal benefits, accounting for 2.65 million total claims.
North Carolina had about $3.85 billion in the state Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund in mid-March. The third COVID-19 relief bill added $87 million to the state fund.
Who Qualifies For The Extended Benefits In North Carolina?
To qualify for the extended benefits in North Carolina, claimants should meet several eligibility criteria. They include:
1. The claimants should be able, available, and actively look for work.
2. The claimants should maintain a record of work search activities and contact information of employers they approached and submit them to the Department when requested.
3. The claimants have weeks with earnings of not less than 4 times their weekly unemployment benefit amount.
4. The claimants must accept any work they can perform if the following conditions are met.
- The gross weekly pay exceeds their weekly benefit amount
- The amount of any supplemental unemployment payments is equal to or greater than the state and federal defined minimum wage
- The claimants are required to report to their local office of the Employment Security Commission regularly.
- When reporting to the Employment Security Commission, the claimants should bring their work search written record. Unless they show proof of likelihood of returning to work in a reasonably short period, the Commission will not accept the application. Also, failure to meet the work search requirements or accept a job or even look for a job may result in ineligibility for extended benefits.
How To Apply For The Extended Benefits In North Carolina?
One will not receive the extended benefits in North Carolina automatically. The claimant should file a claim online at des.nc.gov or by phone by calling 1-888-737-0259.
After you submit an initial claim, the Department will review the application. If you are deemed to be eligible for the extended benefits, the Department will mail you a Form NCEB-550 (monetary determination). The form will show your weekly benefit amount, your maximum benefit amount, and the effective processing date of your extended benefits claim. Upon receiving the Form NCEB-550, claimants can file weekly certifications.
Note – Monetary eligibility for the extended benefits is limited to 50% of the total amount you received under the regular Unemployment Insurance program.
How Much Benefits Will A Claimant Receive Through The Extended Benefits?
Under the extended benefits program, a claimant will receive a benefit amount the same as he or she receives through the regular unemployment program. At present, a claimant can receive $265 average weekly and $350 maximum unemployment benefits in North Carolina.
Will There Be Extension Of Unemployment Benefits In 2021?
As of now, the Department has not given any updates on North Carolina’s unemployment extension in 2020. However, residents who become jobless or are furloughed in 2021 may receive an extra 4 weeks of regular Unemployment Insurance benefits. This is possible due to the state law passed in July 2013.
The increase to 16 weeks from 12 weeks can act as a boon for North Carolinians since the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, created under the CARES Act, are scheduled to expire December 26, 2020.
Additional $50 Unemployment Benefits In North Carolina
Although the extended benefits period is shorter, the state’s passed House Bill 1105, Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0, and created a new program known as the Increased Benefit Amount. Under the Increased Benefit Amount program, the residents will get extra $50 weekly unemployment benefits.
Note that not everyone will receive additional benefits but only those who meet certain eligibility requirements. The program will provide extra benefits starting retroactively with the benefit week that began on September 6, 2020, through the week ending December 26, 2020.
North Carolina is one of the states to have a minimum number of regular unemployment weeks. With a reduction in the extended benefits, there is no doubt that the residents will have a tough time meeting their basic needs. Therefore a new extension or program is needed for the hour in the state. Let’s wait and see if the Department will extend benefits or take some other step to help the needy residents.
Good News: US Unemployment Rate Drops To 6.9%
The release of the Employment Situation, October 2020, has good news for all Americans as the US unemployment rate dropped to 6.9%. There was a decrease in the unemployment rate across all worker groups and a fall in the number of people temporarily laid off, but the number of permanently laid-off workers has not dropped.
Huge Drop From April Values
These numbers are massive improvements from April 2020, when the national unemployment rate had soared to 14.7%, with 23.1 million people unemployed. The number of those unemployed permanently was at 2 million and remains unchanged. However, the rates are not uniform across states.
State Unemployment Rates: Now And Then
Among the states, Hawaii has the highest unemployment rate at 15.1%, and Nebraska has the lowest unemployment rate at 3.1%. In April, the unemployment rate in Hawaii was 22.3%, while Nebraska was at 8.1% and still one of the lower states. The highest unemployment rate in April belonged to Nevada at 28.2%.
Why Did The Unemployment Rate Rise In April?
The unemployment rates in America progressively rose from February to May then began to decline. The initial spike was due to strict lockdowns across the country that severely crippled the states with dominant tourism, food, and hospitality sectors. It became nearly impossible for these businesses to operate. The two sectors, as mentioned earlier and retail trade were the worst affected, and the loss of disposable income further compounded the problem.
Now, as the number of COVID-19 cases has hit a constant day-to-day emergence, lockdowns have eased globally. However, sectors like aviation, cruise shipping, and tourism continue to suffer as footfall has not revived, nor is it likely to happen anytime soon.
Some industries have high unemployment during any recessions, as they are driven by demand and supply; the higher the disposable income, the higher the demand. Ultimately, the entire economy is deeply connected. The pandemic even shook up sectors like education and health services, long considered immune to recessions.
Why Is The Unemployment Rate Now Dropping?
As the restrictions have eased and people are slowly but carefully going to eat out again, the food and beverage industry is reviving. Although tourism is still a no-go and frowned upon, a few locations managing social distance are seeing some footfall. Job creation is slowly returning.
Some sectors like e-commerce and IT services did not see any significant decline in jobs as they adapted very well to remote work. Demand for home deliveries resulted in strengthened logistics networks and increased hiring in these sectors.
Video conferencing software companies like Zoom saw unprecedented growth during this time, as did online education platforms like Coursera. Some of the technology proliferation brought about by the pandemic will likely continue and spur further growth for innovative service companies. All this leads the US unemployment rate to drop.
How Is COVID-19 Still Impacting The Economy And Employment?
Some sectors may have seen a permanent negative impact on employment. Museums were severely affected due to the loss of funding, making it hard for them to keep staff. The American Alliance of Museums conducted a survey in June 2020, wherein the majority reported planning to reopen by July-August 2020 but could do so only by October 2020.
44% of the respondents had furloughed staff and have opened with reduced staff. They have to overhaul their operations to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Some small museums may close down permanently without government aid.
Construction is another sector that added 789,000 jobs over the last six months. However, peak employment has not been reached as many projects were canceled or pushed back. Houston had a booming construction industry that is now waiting to see how energy demands shape up after the pandemic as many plants in the area have rolled back production.
Most of the lost jobs are in low-wage-paying industries that constitute 30% of all jobs in regular times. Now 52% of the lost jobs are from these sectors. These results usually measure the U1 unemployment rate that excludes many other types of jobseekers.
What Problems Has Unemployment Caused?
It is not a coincidence that American households face a rise in hardship measures along with the increase in joblessness. The Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey reveals that even in October-November, 16% of adults living in rental households were behind on rent payments. These households also happen to have large numbers of people who have food hardship.
80 million adults reported difficulty paying for the usual household expenses like groceries, mortgage, car payments, etc. The levels are not yet back to pre-pandemic statuses. Even with assistance programs, a large number of people get excluded.
The new presidency has a lot of challenges to meet to get the economy back on its feet. Most economic sectors require stimulus packages to sustain demand and survival, for which bipartisan support will be essential.
Even as the United States continues to witness significant spread in the Coronavirus cases, October’s economic growth was better than expected. According to the reports of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total nonfarm payrolls increased by 638,000 in October, and the unemployment rate declined to 6.9%.
This indicates that the U.S. labor market is reopening, and the economy is reaching the pre-COVID level.
Major Ups and Down In October
In October, the jobs in leisure and hospitality rose by 271,000, of which sub-sectors like food services and drinking places created 192,000 jobs, entertainment, arts, and recreation 44,000 jobs and accommodation 34,000 jobs. Although the Leisure and hospitality industry has added 4.8 million jobs since April, the employment is down by 3.5 million since February.
The construction sector added 84,000 jobs in October. The specialty trade contractors added 28,00 jobs in the nonresidential and 18,000 in residential 18,000 subsectors. Employment in the construction of buildings and heavy and civil engineering construction also rose by 19,000 jobs each. Though the construction industry has added about 789,000 jobs in the last six months, the employment is down by 294,000 since February.
The health care and social assistance sector added 79,000 jobs in October. While Health care added 58,000 jobs, Social assistance added 21,000 employment. The key contributors here are the hospitals with 16,000 jobs, outpatient care centers with 10,000 jobs, offices of physicians with 14,000 jobs, and offices of dentists with 11,000 jobs. However, the nursing and residential care facilities saw a decline of 9,000 jobs.
Employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 63,000 in October. The major contributors here are warehousing and storage with 28,000 jobs, truck transportation with 10,000 jobs, and transit & ground passenger transportation with 25,000 jobs. However, air transportation witnessed a decline of 18,000 jobs.
Employment in professional and business services rose by 208,000 jobs in October. Jobs in the services to buildings and dwellings also rose by 19,000, management and technical consulting services by 15,000, and computer systems design and related services by 16,000.
The retail trade sector added 104,000 jobs in October 2020. Employment also rose in furniture and home furnishings stores by 14,000, motor vehicle and parts dealers by 23,000, general merchandise stores by 10,000, clothing and clothing accessories stores by 13,000, and nonstore retailers 9,000.
Employment in food manufacturing and plastics and rubber products continued to witness an uptrend in October. The employment rate in the services industry also rose by 47,000 jobs in October.
Establishment Survey Data
In October, the average hourly earnings for private nonfarm payroll employees rose by 4 cents to $29.50. On the other hand, the average hourly earnings for private-sector production employees and nonsupervisory increased by 5 cents to $24.82. However, the average workweek for private nonfarm payroll employees remained unchanged at 34.8 hours.
While the workweek in the manufacturing sector rose by 0.3 hours to 40.5 hours, and overtime by 0.2 hours to 3.2 hours, the production and nonsupervisory witnessed an increase in an average workweek by 0.1 hours to 34.2 hours.
Household Survey Data
|Black or African Population
|Hispanics or Latinos
The unemployment rate for adult men increased by 3.5% against last year but decreased by 0.7% compared to September. The unemployment rate for adult women increased by 3.3% as compared to last year and the teenager unemployment rate by 1.6%
While the white population’s unemployment rate increased by 2.8% against last year by decreasing by 1.0% compared to the previous month, the unemployment rate for the black population rose by 5.3% compared to the last year. The Asian unemployment rate surged by 4.8%, Hispanics by 4.7% compared to the previous year.
The U.S. labor market, though slowly, is returning to normalcy. The major contributors to the recovery are the retail trade, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business service sectors. Though the country’s unemployment rate is higher than the previous year, we can expect to see further improvements in the employment situation in the upcoming months.
With the U.S presidential elections nearing a close, one thing on every citizen’s mind is Jobs, employment, and the economy. Whoever comes into power has a massive challenge against him to get the economy and job market back on track so that the people of the country don’t face any more turmoil in these uncertain times.
Initially, when the pandemic began, the month of April saw the unemployment rate at a staggering 14.7%. Subsequently, the number decreased and stood at 7.7% in September. However, with this being said the next president still has to improve the job market further as unemployment still looms large in several states. It is also vital that the new president takes control of the continuous spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, as the numbers keep rising in several states across the country.
The Key Parameters For The President To Focus On
The next presidential candidate will have to focus on several critical aspects to get the wheels of the economy and job situation under control. Some of the critical parameters that need to be worked on are as follows:
The Job Situation
In September alone, close to 7 million people remained unemployed, which is a staggering amount. The month also saw several permanent job losses, which is a worry for some prospect, in these uncertain times. The only way for things to get back on track is to stop the spread of the virus, and it should be the main agenda of the president once elected.
It is important for the next president to work on aspects that improve the economy and give job security to the Americans. Despite the fact the United States is doing better in terms of economy when compared to many other countries, it is still challenging to bring back normalcy. The only way to recover is to restore public health to build confidence among people that they can interact without risking infection.
The president should play a key role in the task ahead. He should instruct the authorities to provide reliable and timely information regarding the spread of the virus and treatments available including vaccines.
It is of uttermost importance that the new president signs a new stimulus package to help people get through these trying times. It will ensure the unemployed get temporary relief until they find a new job to make ends meet. Also, the bill should aim at lowering taxes for the poor and downtrodden in the country.
One of the critical issues the voters and their kids are facing is the student debt. It is estimated that around 45 million Americans are carrying a total of $1.54 trillion student debt. On average, student borrowers are graduating college with a debt of $30,000.
This acts as a major roadblock to those looking to begin their post-graduate on sound financial foundation. The student debt also has critical implications for the housing industry, which largely contributes to the U.S. economy. Therefore, the next president should come up with action plans to help student borrowers to overcome the debt and thereby save the economy.
The COVID Vaccine
One of the most critical factors for the next president to work on is rolling out a coronavirus vaccine ASAP. It will ensure several people at the working-class level can venture out confidently, hence getting the economy back on track. Also, there are several pharmaceutical companies developing a vaccine currently, It will be the president’s responsibility to ensure the best and most effective dose is provided.
To ensure a better world global warming and climate change have to be taken seriously. Several tactics to tackle these issues must be brought up by the next president. Currently, Under Donald Trump’s administration, the U.S has withdrawn from the Paris agreement which is not a very good step in tackling climate change. However, the next president-elect can rejoin the deal and come up with a strong policy to deal with this menace.
With the expiration of unemployment expansion provisions under the CARES Act in late July, several key factors preventing millions of Americans from losing their homes have faded. Considering that 31.5% families in America spend more than 30% of their income on housing, this sector should likely be focused by the next president.
Many Americans believe that they are paying higher taxes. The president should consider taking steps to bring down the taxes and help people especially those who are earning decent wages.
Rather than adapting unilaterally on trade and discouraging companies from choosing overseas, the new president should focus on accelerating the competitiveness of U.S. industry by investing Research & Development and infrastructure across the economy.
The Final Word
These are some of the aspects that the new president of the United States should focus on to improve the economy and give the citizens their deserving quality of life. The next president must give his best shot in ensuring the country comes out of the current hurdles it’s facing, as this will ensure critical aspects are back on track once again.