Headline RoundupSeptember 6th, 2021

Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Expire For 7.5 Million Americans

Summary from the AllSides News Team

About 7.5 million jobless Americans lost their COVID-19 pandemic-era unemployment boost of $300 per week on Labor Day — a holiday that has solicited different interpretations from across the spectrum. The jobless were initially granted $600 a week from April to July 2020, but Congress and the Trump administration reduced the payment to $300 when reviving the program in December. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently a record number of job openings, though hiring shortages persist across some industries; some research suggests that unemployed people who lose benefits might have a harder time finding a job. If the Biden administration's $3.5 trillion federal budget plan is passed, many social safety net programs would likely be expanded.

Center- and left-rated sources covered the news more prominently, many of which framed the cutoff as harmful for the unemployed and described it as the "most abrupt" end to government aid in U.S. history. Some also pointed out how the Biden administration said states can redirect other federal funds to extend jobless benefits, yet no states have taken action to do so. Left-rated voices often took the stance that the act will "reduce spending" and "increase poverty," while highlighting families who were "left scrambling" and "remain vulnerable." Right-rated voices were more likely to see the termination of the pandemic unemployment benefits as a win for small businesses, and argued that purportedly lucrative payments caused people to stay home rather than getting a job.

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