CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship September 4, 2020


September 4, 2020

COVID-19 Hardship

September 4, 2020

Labor Day Edition.  In August, we saw slower progress in job growth than in the previous two months.  The 1.4 million jobs gained included 238,000 temporary Census workers, whose jobs will end in about a month.  While total unemployment declined to 8.4 percent, it was 13 percent for Blacks, 10.5 percent for Latinx, and 7.3 percent for whites, underscoring continued disparities in the way the pandemic recession is hitting different racial/ethnic groups.  COVID-19 is not going away. There are several states that are at risk for surging, namely North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois,” says Dr. Anthony Fauci, warning about the possibility of further spread over the holiday weekend.  It’s been 5 weeks since the termination of the $600/week Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, and so far only 15 percent of workers have seen the $300/week promised by the Trump Administration.  The Senate took zero steps to act during its 25day vacation; they’re coming back right after Labor Day, and what they will do is very unclear.  In the meantime, the Centers for Disease Control judged the threat of millions of evictions a public health emergency requiring a broad moratorium on evictions through December 31.  But with millions using up their meager savings to try to pay bills and one-third to nearly half of Latinx and Black households with children unable to pay rent, emergency rental assistance and more income assistance is going to be needed to keep people in their homes. 

Let your Senators know you know the difference between 0 and real help. 

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In 41 states (including Guam and D.C.) COVID caseloads either stayed the same or rose over the most recent 2-week period.  (In 15 states plus Guam new cases per capita rose; 24 states plus DC stayed the same.)


1.4 million 

1.4 million jobs were gained in August, showing a continued slowing of the pace of recovery.  (1.7m jobs were added in July; 4.8m added in June.) It may be worse than it looks:  of the 1.4m, 238,000 were temporary Census workers.



The number of people unemployed for 15 weeks or more in Augustup 156,000 over July.  Those unemployed for 5 weeks or less declined by 921,000, to 2,281,000 in August.  More long-term unemployed points to a continuing recession.


-$68 billion 

How much money jobless people have lost in 5 weeks since the $600/week Pandemic Unemployment Compensation was allowed to expire that they would have received if the House’s HEROES Act had been signed into law. Tweet this. 


7 states 

Only 7 states have begun paying $300/week in Lost Wages Assistancecovering about 15% of jobless workers, with funding President Trump is diverting from FEMA disaster relief. Most other states are not expected to get these funds out earlier than mid-to-late September, and the funds will run out after about 4-5 weeks.


30 million 

The approximate number of people either receiving or seeking unemployment insurance by the end of August. 1.6m people made new unemployment claims during the week ending Aug. 29, the 4th week in a row in which claims have risen.



38 percent of people who have lost a job or had their income reduced due to COVID-19 couldn’t last more than a month from savings.


From 27% to 45% 

The growth from 2019 to 2020 in the percentage of Black households with children that were falling behind in rent or mortgage payments or predicting they would.  Among Latinx households with children, the percentage increased from 33% to 44%.  Among white households with children, the percentage rose only from 18.5% to 19.2%.


30 to 40 million 

The number of people in renter households facing eviction – as cited by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in its order announcing an eviction moratorium through December 31. So many evictions would result in overcrowding in housing and more homeless people in shelters, creating a public health emergency by increasing the spread pf COVID-19, CDC found. To make sure the moratorium applies to tenants, they need this from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.



70 percent of Black immigrant domestic workers surveyed lost their jobs in the pandemic; 65 percent of respondents were fearful or at risk of eviction or utility shut off in the next three months.