From the Philly Inquirer:
With no end in sight to the pandemic, Washington lawmakers are at odds over how to give more financial help to Americans. Democrats want to extend the full $600 enhanced unemployment benefit, while Republicans say that amount is too much, as some have earned more on unemployment than they did at work. Lawmakers are also weighing another round of direct stimulus payments, a payroll tax cut, and other measures to help the struggling economy.
Failure to pass something would deal a “body blow” to the economy, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. Companies continue to lay off workers at high levels and 17.3 million people nationwide were receiving unemployment benefits as of July 11. Cutting off financial help now would cause consumers to slash spending and force many to stop paying bills, plunging the economy back into a recession, he said. But scaled-back unemployment benefits along with other relief, such as a stimulus check, should be enough to keep things together, he added.
As of July 11, 795,000 New Jersey workers were receiving the extra $600 in federal help, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry said Tuesday that it could not provide an exact number of recipients. On Monday, Susan Dickinson, the department’s director of unemployment compensation benefits policy, said the state has about 3.3 million claims between regular and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance right now, and said most of those likely received at least one $600 payment.
Although the federal program expires July 31, this is the final claim week for the additional $600 payments. Both state agencies said workers who are owed unemployment benefits for previous weeks will still receive the extra $600 for those weeks, too, even if payment is issued after the program expires.