Two Anchors Of COVID Safety Net Ending, Affecting Millions

Mary Taboniar, a housekeeper at the Hilton Hawaiian Village resort in Honolulu, looks over bills at her home in Waipahu, Hawaii, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. Taboniar went 15 months without a paycheck, thanks to the COVID pandemic. The single mother of two saw her income completely vanish as the virus devastated the hospitality industry. Taboniar is one of millions of Americans for whom Labor Day 2021 represents a perilous crossroads. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

(AP) — Labor Day 2021 represents a perilous crossroads for millions of Americans. Two primary anchors of the government’s COVID protection package are ending or have recently ended. The $300 weekly jobless benefit boost will stop Monday, affecting an estimated 8.9 million people. A federal eviction moratorium already has expired. While other aspects of pandemic assistance including rental aid and the expanded Child Tax Credit are still widely available, the social safety net has clearly shrunk. The Biden administration believes the U.S. economy is strong enough not to be rattled by evictions or the drop in unemployment benefits and that the other elements of the safety net are enough to smooth things over.


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