A New and Unexpected Hurdle for the Economy


With the economy in a downward spiral, many have hoped and demanded that states reopen. This would allow small businesses like shops and restaurants to generate much-needed revenue. Employees could go back to work, allowing money to move again. 

Something unexpected has happened in regards to the economy reopening. What if employees don’t want to go back to work? Though restaurants in certain states may be allowed to open with specific guidelines, they still might face their same aforementioned revenue problem if they cannot get their staff to return. 

There are two factors that employees will need to take into consideration: health and money.

They Likely Make More Through Unemployment

When the CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020, there were newly established guidelines for unemployment benefits and who is eligible to receive them.

Through Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), those who receive unemployment benefits will also get an additional $600 on top of what they already receive from their specific states.

A study at the University of Chicago estimates that two-thirds of the people who are receiving unemployment benefits are making more than they were when they were employed. 

Through Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), unemployed workers who have gone through the entirety of their benefits can receive a 13-week extension. 

They Don’t Feel Safe

If those who are unemployed are called back to work when businesses are allowed to reopen, their unemployment benefits may cease. However, if that person can provide a note from a medical professional that they should quarantine, their benefits will continue. 

There is a wide net cast for those who feel they could be at risk. Anyone could make the case and they wouldn’t be wrong. Some are facing the possibility of increasing their risk while making less money than they would have in quarantine. 

Some workers will be afraid to return to work because they live with someone who may be considered high risk. For these people, they will have the choice of either returning to work or losing their job. 

People may state they need to work to provide for their families, but what if the inverse were true? Staying isolated may be the best way to shield a high-risk loved one away from the virus. 

As a way to take care of employees, some small-business owners are choosing to remain closed. This way their employees will be both paid and safe. But we are already seeing pushback from the state about this. For instance, Iowa and Oklahoma have issued directives to employers to report the employees who are not showing for work so the state can terminate their unemployment benefits. 

Key Takeaways

Whether you’re an employee or an employer, you’ve been through a lot. In the last twenty years, our country has endured the events of September 11th, the ensuing combat operations, The Great Recession, and now a global pandemic. 

These events alter the economy and people’s lives. After The Great Recession people were left financially unstable before the pandemic even occurred. Many people are resorting to using their savings accounts to meet daily expenses like buying food or paying the mortgage.

PayWow was developed by a small business to help other small businesses. We are here to help you in the ways that we can. 

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