The Internal Revenue Service has given out over 169M stimulus checks just in the 3rd round that was declared in March 2021. 2M people received the stimulus check of $1,400 in July alone. But lawmakers and common people are insisting on a 4th stimulus check as the economic downturn caused by the pandemic shows no signs of reversing.
To add to the citizens’ woes, multiple variants of the virus have emerged, further pushing back the economic recovery. The federal administration’s response has been commendable as it has seen people through the core period of the pandemic.
In three rounds, the federal government has given out $3,200. A $1,200 stimulus check was given in the first round in 2020. Another $600 was added in December of the same year.
A stimulus check of $1,400 was declared by the federal government under Joe Biden under the Rescue Plan.
Virus Variants Have Amplified The Urgency For Another Stimulus Check
Despite the economic support, the economy continues to be hampered by the virus as millions of citizens continue to be in financial anguish. The Delta variant compounded problems while the discovery of the latest variant in November, Omicron, has further complicated the situation.
A survey in August revealed that around a quarter of American citizens are struggling to pay for regular expenses. The employment rate continues to hover at around 5.2%, much higher than pre-pandemic figures of a healthy 3.5%.
Business hiring is up, but there are 5.3M people less on the payroll when compared to the pre-pandemic figures.
The discovery of the newer variants has shaken confidence and Oxford Economics (OE) has in recent weeks cut the expected global economic development rate from 6.4 to 5.9 percent.
Ben May, the director at OE says that such uncertainty and hesitancy will finally lead to a slower recovery than what was expected earlier.
Around 9.1M people also lost their enhanced unemployment assistance this Labor Day as federal benefits were discontinued. This will lead to the loss of $5B in federal benefits that were directly benefiting the unemployed.