Over 169 million stimulus checks have been issued in the latest round, with 2 million individuals and families receiving up to $1,400 in July alone. But efforts towards a fourth stimulus payment continue as lawmakers and ordinary citizens highlight that things are yet to return to normal.
The effects of the pandemic have been more widespread than previously expected. Though eligible adults have received $3,200 in assistance in the three rounds, millions remain distressed financially. The extent of the new Delta variant of the virus has set back efforts to return quickly to normalcy. A quarter of Americans struggled to earn for even the basics, according to fresh survey data.
Unemployment rates continue to remain alarmingly high at around 5.2%, way above the pre-pandemic figure of 3.5%. that leaves around 5.3M fewer people out of any form of job. Oxford Economics has recently pulled down its 2021 forecasts for world economic growth from 6.4% to 5.9%.
Uncertainty Fuelled By The Delta Variant Has Fuelled Need For A 4th Stimulus Check
The uncertainty surrounding the future, and fears of a return of a fresh wave of the pandemic has led to an unsteady recovery. The discontinuance of the enhanced unemployment benefits in the first week of September has affected 9.4 million people who had their weekly unemployment stimulus checks discontinued.
This stops another $5 billion that flowed into the hands of the unemployed, helping them pay for the basics.
The benefits of the third check have given way to another wave of despondency as people are back to desperate times with high unemployment rates. Close to 3M people have supported an online petition for the continuance of regular stimulus checks of $2,000.
Around 60% of people have said that the third stimulus check of $1,400 has lasted only three months. Some states have gone for their version of the stimulus check. California, under Governor Gavin Newsom, has given residents of the state the Golden State Stimulus check. Texas and Florida have also given out their stimulus checks from federal funds to tackle the pandemic.