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Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Notations On Our World (Weekly Edition): On #LifeInTheTimeofCorona
As our World continues its' War on the COVD-19, our commitment to bringing perspective to bear remains ever so--please note the following courtesy of the team at USAFACTS:
THE ECONOMY AND COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is leading to unprecedented plans like the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (better known as the CARES Act). In addition to continuing to report new cases county by county, USAFacts has information on how the CARES Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act could impact many facets of American life. Let’s look at some historical government metrics to gain insight.
CHANGES TO SICK PAY
On March 18, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which aims to expand support for families affected by COVID-19 with a variety of government assistance programs.
The law expands, among other things, unemployment benefits and requires businesses to provide employees with roughly two weeks of paid sick leave.
However, it exempts businesses with more than 500 employees from providing sick leave. As of 2019, companies of this size employed 48% of private-sector workers. Meanwhile, some of the country’s largest employers, such as Walmart, are already expanding paid sick leave for employees afflicted with the virus.
Some small businesses with fewer than 50 employees are also exempt from the law—small businesses employed 27% of private-sector workers in 2019.
Prior to the bill, 73% of private-sector workers had paid sick leave, with some occupations more likely to offer it than others. For example, 94% of workers in management and business occupations had paid sick leave, as well as 88% of professional workers. Yet, only 58% of service workers did.
CHANGES TO BUSINESS
Many industries are directly affected both by recent closures and changing consumer behavior. Just how large are these industries and how much do they contribute to the US gross domestic product (GDP)?
Food services and drinking places make up an increasing proportion of GDP, from 1.76% in 1997, to 2.23% in 2018. Last year, more than 12 million people worked in food services, particularly restaurants and bars. That’s 8% of the workforce.
Travel and hospitality industries are also experiencing dramatic declines in business. More than 2 million Americans work in hotels or similar accommodations.
Read all this and much more on how the coronavirus could impact American businesses, including working from home, store closures, and the S&P 500 market index.
The CARES Act includes plans to send direct payments to taxpayers based on their most recent tax return (either 2019 or 2018). New USAFacts analysis breaks down who will likely to receive these payments.
Single filers reporting less than $75,000 in adjusted gross income on tax returns will get the full $1,200 check. Married couples earning less than $150,000 would get $2,400. Some people would also be eligible for an additional $500 for children claimed under the Child Tax Credit.
People who made more than $75,000 in 2019 might still receive a check but will have 5% taken out of every dollar earned above $75,000. Single taxpayers who earned more than $99,000 are ineligible for a check.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, 82% of all families would get the full amount offered. Only 8% of families, primarily those in higher income brackets, would get nothing.