With the clock ticking for more than 25 million Americans set to lose their enhanced benefit soon, the Senate returned from recess this week and began discussing a new round of coronavirus relief aid. Sources told CNBC Wednesday that Republican lawmakers were considering extending enhanced unemployment pay at $100 per week, or $400 per month, for the rest of the year. By Thursday morning, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Republican coronavirus relief plan will extend enhanced unemployment “based on approximately 70% wage replacement.”
State-administered unemployment aid aims to replace about half of a worker’s previous wages, though it averages out at around 45%. Nationwide, that comes to an average unemployment benefit of around $320 per week, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor. However, sums range widely depending on the state, with Washington paying $497 per week on average and Oklahoma paying just over $44 as of May 2020.
It’s unclear how Republicans would structure the plan to replace 70% of a worker’s previous wages. The original $600 per week benefit was approved in March because lawmakers decided outdated state unemployment systems couldn’t handle processing more targeted payouts to calculate a 100% wage replacement per worker. According to a CNBC analysis, a 70% replacement rate could come out to a flat enhancement of $310 per person per week.
Read more at CNBC.