Government Aid Amidst the Unemployment Crisis

By Breanna Wells, Qwesi Allen, and Nina Galindo-Calvete
OCT 26, 2020

Covid-19 has been a factor in our daily lives for the past 6 months, whether it’s wearing masks to every place we go or hearing about information related to the virus on the news. As cases surged and more people began to isolate in their homes, the economy dropped causing loss of jobs, money, and business. The pandemic caused unemployment rates to skyrocket as more people were laid off due to the economic downturn.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, many public facilities and services began to shut down to avoid risk of infection. However, this lockdown caused over 40,000,000 American citizens to apply for unemployment, due to lack of work and closed services. As unemployment increased, the U.S government responded with relief packages that would benefit those who were out of work and unable to receive income. In March of 2020, Congress passed the CARES Act which provided a $600 check to those eligible for unemployment insurance. According to an article published by FORTUNE, “those who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus, will not require to have a certain amount of work history to receive benefits.” As cases of the coronavirus increase, unemployment increases along with it, voiding many requirements and rules for those out of work because of the immense amount of people affected by it. Landlords and apartment building owners have even delayed rent due dates to accommodate those who may be struggling financially. An article published by NBC addressed families who were unable to provide food for their families by stating that, “the government passed The Families First Response Act which would address food providing issues”. This act would provide 500 million dollars in food assistance for low income mothers, food banks, and senior nutrition programs.

Many government agencies have compared the economic loss of the pandemic to the Great Recession in the late 2000s. Because Covid-19 has been unpredictable, many have found that the economic bounce back is just as unpredictable. A chart created by Statistica shows a comparison between the Great Recession and the unemployment increase during the pandemic. Government agencies have been using this data as a source to predict economic recovery when the pandemic fades. 

The pandemic has affected both the economy and people’s lives immensely. Many Americans had to say goodbye to their jobs and set off on a journey of unemployment; wondering how they would provide for their families the next day. Thanks to our government, many have been able to wake up the next day with food on their plates and a roof over their heads.  Relief  packages and financial aid have provided a cushion for the time being, but the future remains uncertain. 

Feature Image: Milwaukee Magazine