Stimulus Boosted Americans' Income by 21% in March -- Will There Be More?
Stimulus aid has helped many Americans recover from the pandemic, but is another round on the way?
Many Americans have been dealing with income loss during the course of the pandemic. But now, there are more signs of life. In fact, personal incomes rose 21.1% in March, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. And a big reason for that has to do with the fact that many Americans saw stimulus funds hit their bank accounts that month.
In mid-March, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was signed into law, and it included a third round of stimulus checks worth $1,400 apiece.
Following that round of checks, consumer spending rose 4.2% in March, and 916,000 jobs were also added back. This was likely due both to improvements on the pandemic front as well as the aforementioned stimulus package.
Coming off all this, many Americans are eager to know whether they'll be in line for a fourth stimulus payment. The answer? We just don't know.
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More stimulus may not be necessary
To date, President Biden has not pledged to introduce a fourth stimulus round. And if the economy continues to improve as it has been compared to a year ago, then there may not be a need for more stimulus checks.
But that doesn't mean Americans won't be getting a lifeline at all. President Biden recently introduced another relief measure called the American Families Plan. That proposal is designed to help ease many families' financial burdens and help them recover more swiftly from the pandemic.
The American Families Plan includes subsidies for childcare -- an expense so immense that many parents opt to leave the workforce rather than pay for it. The plan also includes:
- Free universal preschool for children ages three and four
- An enhanced paid family and medical leave program
- Free community college
- Expanded food benefits
- Improved health insurance subsidies so that those who need to buy their own coverage will not have to spend as much of their income on it
These benefits are huge on an individual and collective level. So while there may not be a fourth stimulus check in the works, Americans may see some form of additional benefits as they attempt to recover from the impact the pandemic has dealt.
Of course, there are still millions of Americans who are currently without a job. But as things improve with regard to the coronavirus pandemic and more people get vaccinated, the economy could gain more and more steam. That could lead to more jobs becoming available. It could also shrink the unemployment rate back down to pre-coronavirus levels. If that's the case, conditions could improve to the point where another stimulus isn't necessary.
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