Unemployed struggle to cover basic expenses following CARES expiration: poll
The number of jobless people saying that unemployment insurance does not cover basic expenses including food, clothing, housing and transportation nearly doubled after key benefits expired in July.
A new survey from Morning Consult found that 50 percent of unemployed people said their benefits fell short of covering basic expenses, up from 27 percent in July.
The $600 in extra weekly benefits that Congress passed in March expired at the end of July, leaving many with significantly lower payments.
Republicans argued the $600 increase was too high and discouraged people from returning to work. Democrats countered that at a time of record high unemployment and limited job openings, the extra pay was unlikely to prevent jobs from getting filled.
A month later, negotiations between the White House and congressional Democrats remain stalled. Senate Republicans are setting a goal of voting on a more limited package of COVID-19 relief measures next week, though Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has dismissed the idea of approving a limited bill.
An executive order by President Trump to provide $300 in additional benefits to a more limited pool of recipients has lagged in implementation, with only a handful of states able to start making new payments.
In the meantime, the pandemic continues to stifle the economy.
A CNBC poll found that 14 percent of those surveyed had completely wiped out their emergency savings during the pandemic, and 39 percent were forced to take some sort of emergency measures to shore up their finances.
Among those who took emergency measures, 17 percent tapped into savings, 11 percent borrowed money, 6 percent stopped retirement contributions and 4 percent moved in with a family member.