Denver, Colorado 2020-12-24 08:26:59 –
New York — Last Christmas, Shanny Tama Shoes made a feast for a family of three: roast chicken, barbecue spareribs, spinach, macaroni, and cheese.
this year? Among the few items she can buy in supermarkets, they will stick to tuna and crackers.
Matthews, who lives in Suwanee, Georgia, says, “We’re not really having Christmas. I think we can say that.” “We are having a hard time. We are tired and all I have is my faith.”
Like about 10 million other Americans, Matthews has been unemployed since a viral pandemic struck the US economy in March, causing a devastating recession and widespread unemployment. Now, a few months later, they are facing a holiday season that was almost unpredictable a year ago. There is too little money to buy gifts, prepare proper meals, and pay all bills.
Bruce Meyer of the University of Chicago and two other colleagues. And finding a job is even harder. Employment slowed for the fifth straight month in November, with US employers adding the fewest jobs since April.
Some relief-potentially-may be on the way. This week, Congress approved a $ 900 billion pandemic relief package that includes a weekly unemployment allowance of $ 300, cash payments of up to $ 600 to most individuals, and an upcoming long-term unemployment assistance program renewal. But on Tuesday night, President Donald Trump questioned the urgent need for federal assistance by attacking the rescue package as inappropriate and suggesting that he might not sign the law.
In the meantime, help will not come immediately for Matthews. I’m worried that my account will be closed if I don’t get immediate financial support because my bank balance is negative.
Matthews, 41, is struggling financially as she had to close her wedding business in March when the ceremony was canceled and the need for her centerpieces and flower arrangements suddenly disappeared. Matthews has been denied unemployment assistance by the Georgia Department of Labor. She doesn’t understand why and is appealing the decision. But the process was so slow that she waited months just to hold a hearing.
Despite being a registered nurse, Matthews was unable to land his job. She can only work late because she often needs to help her 6-year-old daughter who has to do virtual learning at home when the number of virus cases surges at school.
Matthews’ car was regained because it couldn’t keep up with the payment. Most of what her husband earns goes to a $ 1,600 mortgage in their home. That leaves about $ 200 a month for groceries, utilities, and $ 50 internet charges. This is necessary for my daughter’s schoolwork.
Matthews wants relatives to intervene and buy Christmas gifts for her daughter.
“We want to get food, water and heat,” she said. “These are what we care about.”
Charities say they are overwhelmed by requests for help, a sign that many are in serious financial difficulty. United Way expects to double the number of calls to the funding 211 hotline to 20 million last year. This is mainly from people who need to help pay for rent and electricity. Feeding America says that many of the people who appear in food banks are the first timers.
Sheyontay Molton desperately turned to Twitter for help after running out of money to buy gifts for her four kids at a series of events.
The father of her child lost her job this year. 28-year-old Molton, who lives in San Antonio, Texas, had to temporarily suspend his job as a doordash delivery driver after debris that fell from a truck in October severely damaged his car. did. She used a portion of her rent to repair it and left it on her bill.
Molton, who noticed on Twitter that social media influencers and celebrities are offering cash to the poor, created an account and tweeted about her situation. Someone sent her $ 200 via the app. This is the money she plans to spend on groceries. Another couple on Twitter asked her to create an Amazon wishlist and bought children dolls, cars, and other toys for Christmas.
Without the donation, Molton would tell the young children that Santa Claus couldn’t come because of special precautions against the coronavirus.
“It’s ridiculous, I know,” she said, but “it would have bought me more time.”
The struggle between low-income workers and the unemployed contributes to the weakness of the holiday shopping season, which is likely to drag the economy as a whole. November retail sales fell 1.1%. This is usually a good month as gift purchases have begun. Some economists say retail sales will decline again this month, especially as the government imposes more business restrictions and keeps consumers away from stores and restaurants, especially as the number of cases of coronavirus increases. I’m expecting it.
The reduced holidays were what Summer Kluytman envisioned. She had to tell her two teenage sons not to expect the kind of Christmas gifts they normally received in the past, like the $ 400 Oculus virtual reality headset that was under the tree last year. did.
Having lost two art education jobs, Kluytman needed to get food stamps to help pay for groceries. The salary of her husband, who works for a cable company, goes to his home rent in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Kluytman is spending $ 100 on each son on hoodies and other clothing this Christmas, starting at $ 500 each last year. She plans to host a movie night, where they gather in the living room to catch a flick.
“I think it’s cool to spend time together, not a lot under the tree,” she said. “But that breaks my mind a little.”
A bleak Christmas for America’s jobless Source link A bleak Christmas for America’s jobless