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COVID-19 unemployment benefits expire, affecting millions

COVID-19 unemployment benefits expire, affecting millions
National Economic Council Director Brian Deese responds to a question from the news media on June 4. File Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 6 (UPI) -- After 18 months in effect, the nation's expansion of unemployment benefits came to a close this weekend and will likely remain that way.

The relief effort intended for out-of-work Americans offered a weekly supplement of $600 from April 2020 to July 2020. That was reduced to $300 a week in December and extended again in March.

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Though states were given the option to use their federal relief funds to extend the program in their jurisdictions, none has opted to do so.

More than 8 million people with no income will be affected while another 2.7 million will continue receiving state payments.

There are currently 10 million job openings in the country, but 340,000 filed new unemployment claims in the past week. There are 2.75 million continuing claims.

Employment is not expected to rise as labor markets, childcare and health concerns about spreading the virus didn't improve.

The Century Foundation called the move "economically short-sighted."

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