12 SEPTEMBER 2, 2021 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Trouble on the bend
It’s no secret that the economy’s in
a far better place now than it was
during the height of the COVID-19
pandemic in March 2020 — when businesses
shuttered en masse, workers
were laid off and 20 percent of New
York City’s workforce was out of a job.
Massive infusions of government
benefi ts helped millions of people
avoid abject poverty and suff ering at
the height of the crisis. The economy
began reopening and the unemployment
rate began to drop signifi cantly
as people returned to work.
Still today, millions of Americans
remain unemployed, but they’re
keeping food on their tables and
roofs over their heads because of the
continued benefi ts. But 7.5 million
of these recipients — including an
estimated 800,000 in New York City
alone — have big trouble looming just
around the corner.
As of Sept. 5, most of these unemployed
Americans will see their
benefi ts expire; others will see their
benefi ts pared down to their state
minimum as the $300 weekly federal
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As of Sept. 5, most unemployed Americans will see their benefi ts expire, which could result in an estimated
income loss of $463 million per week, according to a report issued by the Center for New York City Aff airs.
Photo by Andrew Kelly/REUTERS
supplement also sunsets.
In New York City alone, according to
a report issued Aug. 26 by the Center
for New York City Aff airs, this could
result in an estimated income loss of
$463 million per week. That’s a devastating
hit not only for those recipients
who are about to lose their benefi ts,
but also the entire city’s economy.
It’s the equivalent of New York City
losing 800,000 jobs overnight — something
which happened in March 2020.
Back then, offi cials were scrambling
for a solution. Now, all is disturbingly
quiet on the front.
The massive infusion of federal
funding through the American Rescue
Plan earlier this year has given
New York enough resources to extend
unemployment benefi ts. Earlier this
month, President Biden previously
encouraged individual states to tap
into federal resources in this manner.
Certainly, such actions would be far
swifter than waiting on a divided
Congress to pass another round of
The new Hochul administration in
Albany has yet to indicate whether it
would follow Biden’s advice, but we
feel that they may not have any other
choice but to do so. The Empire State
stands to take a catastrophic economic
hit aft er Sept. 5 if these benefi ts are allowed
A six-month or one-year extension
buys time for the economy to further
heal, and for the state and federal governments
to develop a plan to get more
people back to work at higher wages
they’ve long needed.