We Need to Extend Economic Aid to the Unemployed Immediately

A few days ago I noted that low-income workers were still spending a lot, thanks largely to assistance from the CARES program, but they’re also still unemployed at high levels. My evidence was a little indirect, though, so I’m happy to present direct evidence for this based on data from Raj Chetty’s economic tracker. Here’s consumer spending:

The lowest income group has been spending at pre-pandemic levels since June, while the highest income group is still holding back. But here’s employment:

Low-wage workers are still far below their pre-pandemic levels of employment, while high-wage workers are back to normal and even mid-wage workers are close to normal.

Today, economists at Goldman Sachs became the latest to issue a warning that economic recovery will falter if Congress doesn’t provide more federal aid. That’s nearly a unanimous view these days, but these charts make it clear what kind of federal aid we need: not broad-based stimulus, but specific assistance to those who have lost their jobs. Let’s get with it.

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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