Many Americans were dismayed to learn that the year 2021 will end without a fourth stimulus cheque in their bank accounts. Will a new year, however, bring with it a new windfall to look forward to?
There is currently no indication that Congress will issue another stimulus package. That isn’t to say we should rule out the possibility. Here’s why another stimulus payment may or may not be forthcoming.
Why May a Fourth Stimulus Check Be Necessary?
COVID-19 cases are on the rise in 2022, thanks to the highly transmissible omicron form. According to health experts, instances should be on the decline by late January. But if that doesn’t happen, and the outbreak continues, we could be looking at months of chaos.
Businesses may be forced to close down as a result of this circumstance, resulting in layoffs. If that happens, and the economy continues to deteriorate, another stimulus payment could be justified.
Why Is It Possible That There Won’t Be a Fourth Stimulus Check?
True, the United States is in the midst of a severe COVID-19 outbreak, which threatens to overwhelm healthcare systems, force schools to use remote learning, and disrupt supply lines. The silver lining is that omicron is thought to cause milder illness than its predecessors, implying that it will be less disruptive.
Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has amended its guidelines to reduce the time of quarantine for people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. It’s possible that fewer workplace disruptions and closures will result as a result of this.
All of this would be beneficial to the economy. And, in terms of the economy, it is improving. The national unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent in December, the lowest level since the outbreak began. Furthermore, the labour market is currently overburdened with openings, to the point where many businesses are hiking wages to compete for talent. This scenario is somewhat different from the one that was provided in March 2021, when the most recent stimulus check was approved.
Finally, unlike early in the epidemic, lawmakers are not planning to impose widespread shutdowns to battle the current COVID-19 outbreak. This could be enough to avert a huge round of layoffs.
What to Do if the Stimulus Money Runs Out?
The prospect of not receiving another stimulus check may be discouraging, particularly at a time when inflation is high and everything appears to be costing more. However, you can still take actions to increase your earnings.
To begin, look at salary data to check if you’re being paid a fair wage at your current job. If not, you have two options: battle for a raise or dust off your résumé and look for a new job. Alternatively, if you’re seeking for extra cash, the gig economy is still thriving, which means you have the opportunity to pick up a side hustle.
If you’re having trouble making ends meet, you can consider set a tougher budget for yourself. That could mean temporarily cutting back on some costs until the cost of living drops again.
Of course, if the economy continues to deteriorate, another wave of stimulus may be necessary. However, that is not a circumstance anyone should want for.
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