Americans are hoping for a… but is it in the cards?
Most important points:
- Many Americans are hoping for a fourth stimulus check.
- While immediate economic conditions do not indicate the need for a follow-up check, the course of the pandemic could change things.
Many Americans were disappointed to see 2021 ended without a fourth stimulus check in their… bank accounts. But does a new year also mean a new windfall to look forward to?
At the moment there is no indication that lawmakers want to send another one stimulus control. But that doesn’t mean we should definitely write one off. This is why we may – or may not – see a new stimulus payment roll in.
Why could there be a fourth stimulus check?
We are kicking off 2022 with a wave of COVID-19 cases fueled by the highly communicable ommicron variant. Health experts say cases could decline by the end of January. But if that doesn’t happen and the outbreak continues, we can expect months of interruptions.
That scenario could lead to companies having to close and layoffs. If that were to happen and the economy contracted, it would argue for another stimulus payment.
Why there might not be a fourth stimulus check?
It is true that the US is deeply in the grip of a major COVID-19 outbreak – one that threatens to overwhelm hospital systems, forces schools into distance learning and impacts supply chains. But the silver lining is that ommicron would lead to milder illness than its predecessors, meaning it might not be as disruptive.
In addition, the CDC recently updated its guidelines to shorten the quarantine duration for those diagnosed with COVID-19. That could mean fewer disruptions and closures in the workplace.
That would all be good for our economy. And speaking of the economy, it continues to improve. In December, the national unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, the lowest level since the start of the pandemic. In addition, the job market is currently full of jobs, so much so that many companies are raising wages in an effort to attract talent. This is a very different scenario from the one presented in March 2021, when the most recent stimulus check was approved.
Finally, lawmakers do not intend to impose mass closures to fight the current COVID-19 wave, as they did at the start of the pandemic. That alone could prevent a huge wave of layoffs.
What to do if there is no more stimulation aid?
The idea of not getting another stimulus check can be disappointing, especially at a time when inflation is rampant and everything seems to cost more. But you can still take steps to increase your income.
Research salary data first to see if you’re getting a fair wage where you work. If not, you can fight for a raise or dust off your resume and look for a new job. Or if you’re looking for extra work, the gig economy is still alive, meaning you have the chance to get a incidental for extra money.
You can also make yourself stricter budget if you’re having trouble making ends meet. That could mean cutting back on some expenses temporarily until the cost of living falls again.
If the economic situation deteriorates drastically, a follow-up round of stimulus may, of course, be in the offing. But that’s a scenario no one should hope for.
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