Across America, the economy is not looking good. Although the number of unemployment in June showed that there were 4.8 million jobs, unemployment is still record high.
More states are also closing for a second time, and the economy is likely to falter as coronavirus cases rise across the country. If you are worried about your financial future and hope for a second coronavirus stimulus check to boost your finances, you are not alone and your worries are probably motivated.
Unfortunately, even though Americans clearly need more stimulus money, there is no guarantee that legislators will give them. If you’re hoping for a second stimulus check, you’ll want to look at these three numbers, which are the clearest indicators of whether an additional coronavirus payment is coming your way.
1. The number of cases of coronavirus
Across the United States, there were 3.36 million confirmed cases of coronavirus as of July 11. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning that both cases and total deaths due to the virus could rise steeply in the coming weeks. As the number of COVID-19 patients increases, it is likely that an increasing number of states will slow down or pause their reopening process and may even issue more orders on the spot. Consumer demand is also likely to decrease dramatically if people become more afraid of the virus.
With fewer people spending money and more companies likely to close again, demand will increase for the government to offer more financial relief – and quickly. A second stimulus payment would quickly get money into public hands, prevent disasters such as rising drafts and foreclosures, and help ensure that people have money to spend on businesses that are still open.
Unfortunately, the greater the increase in the number of cases and the more states that impose new restrictions, the more likely it is that the government will provide a second direct payment in response to a deeper crisis.
2. The number of unemployment
Both May and June jobs were surprising, as they showed that unemployment declined when many expected to increase. And some administrative officials used the decline in unemployment claims as a reason not to rush to pass a second stimulus check.
But the fact remains that unemployment is still extremely high. There are millions of Americans without work, and more layoffs have become permanent instead of temporary, as some companies are closing their doors for good. If unemployment claims start to rise again and unemployment drops higher, the chances that legislators will provide another stimulus payment will increase dramatically.
This is especially true because it is cheaper for lawmakers to approve one-time payments for American families than to provide extra unemployment benefits every week for months. Many lawmakers on the right have also expressed caution about continuing the extra $ 600 in extra unemployment benefits each week offered by the CARES Act after the end of July for fear that this would slow the pace of the economic recovery.
As many as 67% of workers who receive the increased unemployment benefits are getting more money now than they did at work, so Republicans are afraid they may not want to return to work. It will be much easier to get them right on board with a second stimulus check, especially since some have already submitted their own proposals for one.
3. President Trump’s poll number
President Donald Trump has long talked about his performance on the economy, including the low unemployment rate before the coronavirus crisis. The president understands that Americans are likely to hold the country’s CEO accountable when the economy is performing poorly – and if his voting numbers continue to decline, he will likely push for more stimulus money to bolster his reelection campaign.
With the first stimulus payment, the president wanted to make sure that the Americans knew where the money was coming from, put his signature on the payments that went out by check and sent a letter to Americans thanking Congress for working with him to make funds available.
He is already talking about a second generous payment, and if he feels his reelection campaign is in serious trouble due to the financial impact of COVID-19, he will almost certainly beat up the pressure on Republicans to make it happen soon so it is fresh in the minds of most Americans when they vote in early November.
Hoping for a second stimulus check – but prepare to go without one
If you follow these numbers closely, you will get a good idea whether legislators will act to give more COVID-19 money or not. Of course, although the economy looks bleak and cases of coronavirus are increasing, there is still no guarantee that legislators will be able to find a viable compromise to provide more funding to Americans. So while there is plenty of reason to hope for more money, you have to be prepared for it not to come.
This means that your finances are recessionary by looking for cuts you can make; ensure that your investments are diversified and that you do not have money in the market that you will soon need in the event of another market crash; bulking up your emergency fund; and investigate other sources of help if you need to.