As we head into Thanksgiving week, another 742,000 workers filed for unemployment (last week). More than 6.3 million Americans remain without unemployed. Over a quarter million Americans have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic and jobs keep disappearing by the hundreds of thousands.
As Americans have waited for crucial unemployment assistance and small business owners have hoped for new relief funds, the end of 2020 will bring a halt to many programs that have been lifelines for small businesses, their workers, and their families throughout the COVID-19 crisis, including last-ditch unemployment insurance funds, the CDC’s eviction moratorium, student loan forbearance, and more.
During the pandemic, nearly 100,000 small businesses have closed permanently, and thousands more are barely hanging on. Nearly half of Black-owned small businesses have shuttered for good or are on the brink — and the unemployment rate in the Black community stands at 10.8 percent. As many as 54 million people in the U.S. face food insecurity. When the federal eviction moratorium expires on January 1st, an estimated $32 billion in back rent will come due and up to 8 million tenants will be at risk of eviction. Meanwhile, nearly 2.2 million women have left the workforce since February.
It has been:
- 237+ days since the CARES Act was passed — the last significant comprehensive aid package Congress secured to help the American people through a crisis that is now well past its 7th month of raging through the U.S.
- 111+ days since the CARES Act’s weekly $600 enhanced federal unemployment benefits ran out, leaving many families struggling to make ends meet.
- 103+ days since applications for the Paycheck Protection Program closed, leaving small businesses that were denied from the program to fend for themselves.
- 43+ days until the eviction moratorium runs out, potentially resulting in thousands of families losing access to stable housing.
This Thanksgiving, think about all those people who are suffering through this pandemic, particularly those families dealing with health issues and food insecurity. This pandemic has challenged all of us; but in the end, I am far more fortunate than so many people who have lost their jobs, their homes, their businesses, and family members. My thoughts will be with them.
(The data for this post was sourced from Accountable.us, a non-partisan watchdog group.)