Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why July 2 Is a Key Date to Watch if You're Hoping for a Second Stimulus Check

By Christy Bieber – Updated Jun 24, 2020 at 8:56PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Mark your calendar, because the first Thursday in July should bring news that will guide Congressional action.

If you're hoping for another COVID-19 stimulus payment from the federal government, you aren't alone. The first check did little to help most families. Many have already spent it entirely on necessities, with nothing left over to see them through the 2020 recession

Unfortunately, it's anyone's guess what lawmakers will do next. There are multiple competing proposals out there for more novel coronavirus payments. There are grounds to hope for another payment, but also reasonable doubts about whether one is forthcoming.

The good news is that there's a date when we'll have a better idea of the answer to the will-they-or-won't-they question: July 2. 

U.S. Capitol Building on a sunny day.

Image source: Getty Images.

Here's why July 2 matters 

Thursday, July 2 is a make-or-break date for those hoping for more stimulus money because that's when the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the June jobs report. Normally, the report would be released on the first Friday of the month, but this one will come a day early because the Fourth of July holiday will be observed on July 3 this year. 

The July 2 report will paint a picture of the labor market throughout the country. It will also provide an important follow-up to May's report, which showed a surprise drop in the unemployment rate. Most economists had predicted that more people would find themselves without work in May, but the rate actually fell from 14.7% to 13.3%. 

The unexpected decline killed much of the momentum behind a second stimulus payment, with at least one senior White House official specifically citing the better-than-expected jobs numbers as a reason for shifting legislative priorities. A second check seemed like a foregone conclusion when economists were estimating another 8 million lost jobs over the course of the month. But now, lawmakers leery of spending more cash have latched onto the addition of 2.5 million jobs in March as a sign that no further payments are needed. 

Still, one good jobs report wasn't enough to end discussions of a second bill entirely. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also warned that the unemployment numbers might have actually been higher than the report suggested due to problems with the way the data was collected. Unfortunately, the wording of some questions in the jobs survey may have resulted in the exclusion of some furloughed workers from the total unemployment count. The agency will take steps to correct the error. 

With lingering questions about just how many people are actually out of the workforce for the long term, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle still appear open to the possibility of providing more COVID-19 relief funds. 

However, another drop in the unemployment rate will likely be taken as a clear sign of economic recovery. If the report shows that there were improvements in June, the chances of cutting another check will be virtually nil. 

Don't bank on more money from Uncle Sam

Of course, no one should hope that more people are out of work, even if that would mean more stimulus money. And even if things look bleak, there's no guarantee that Congress will provide a solution that gets more money into your pocket.

Instead of depending on the government to send you additional funds, start exploring other options for relief. If you haven't been forced to spend your stimulus check yet, and you don't need it for necessities, consider investing it to build your wealth. 

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 09/26/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.