Unemployment In The United States During The Covid-19 Outbreak

Chanboramey Heng, 18, was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She is a senior at Lowell High School. She likes to travel and take photographs. Chanboramey plans to go to college and study computer science.


Chanboramey Heng

In December 2019, a new strain of the coronavirus was identified as the cause of a disease outbreak that originated in China. It soon spread around the world. The United States is the country with the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths, with more than 78 million cases and almost a million people have died from COVID 19  as of February 16, 2022. The pandemic has also caused a lot of people to be unemployed and some companies have gone bankrupt.

The United States economy slowed due to the COVID 19 pandemic. In April 2020 the US unemployment rate reached 14.8 % people, which is the highest rate for more than 60 years. That rate was the era’s second-highest ever.  According to the Pew Research Center, at times the joblessness threatened to reach up to 25%. The COVID-19 recession was similar to the Great Depression that happened in the 1930s. Unemployment rates were unequal because the people who were most affected by this unemployment were women, communities of color, immigrants, young adults, and people with lower levels of formal education.  

During the COVID 19 pandemic, many organizations tried to help the unemployed, specifically women, old people, and kids. The government of the United States passed the first wave of stimulus relief and Congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill in April 2020 to help individuals and businesses deal with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The first Cares Act provided $1200 for many people over the age of 17 and $500 for children. The second payment provided $600 per adult, $600 per child, and $1200 for married. The third payment, in the American Rescue Plan, gave $1,400 per adult and $1,400 per child. 

In the United States when the COVID-19 pandemic started to explode many people didn’t believe that this disease was a deadly disease. The virus is easily transmitted through the air when someone coughs or sneezes or breaths. Even in June and July 2020 when the virus was surging many people didn’t wear masks or get lockdown for protection even though vaccines were still not found yet. Recent legislation in some states has been designed to offer relief to struggling workers during the pandemic. We know losing a job is very stressful. I believe it is important that unemployment benefits should support people who lost their jobs.  I also believe the government should raise the federal minimum wage to above $15 an hour because many things are getting more expensive and that is particularly difficult for lower-income people.

I believe that getting more people vaccinated is the best hope for the economic recovery from the worst of the COVID 19 pandemic. This will help return businesses to usual and reduce unemployment.