What Could Replace The $600 Weekly Unemployment Boost?


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 The original $600 per week benefit was approved in March because lawmakers decided outdated state unemployment systems couldn’t handle processing more targeted payouts to calculate a 100% wage replacement per worker.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



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