If Donald Trump and Senate Republicans have their way, roughly a week from now, the US will swap an imagined economic problem for a predictably devastating one, economists have warned.
Related: 1.3m more file for unemployment as US economy continues to reel
To keep people safe at home during the pandemic and to support them during the resulting jobs crisis, Congress in March instituted a $600 boost to weekly unemployment insurance benefits. Unless lawmakers step in, the money stops on 31 July.
The money is an unusually robust benefit in a country with a weak social safety net. With it, researchers estimated somewhere between 40% and 68% of US workers could make more from unemployment than they did working, because of the high concentration of job losses in low-wage positions.
Republicans, as a result, have warned of hordes of people “disincentivized” from returning to work. But economists say the real