Bank accounts have shrunk since the CARES Act expired

That $600 supplemental unemployment benefit that the federal government provided under the CARES Act was unusually generous, historically. And its sudden cessation last summer—without a stimulus deal to replace CARES—is about to plunge more U.S. households into hardship.

That’s according to a new analysis by the JPMorgan Chase Institute and the University of Chicago. With some workers accumulating more money from unemployment than from the jobs they’d lost, many bank accounts swelled. For a while. That infusion ended in July and those savings have not been replenished. Unemployment is still high. The service sector—from restaurants to hotels to tourism—has been devastated.

The result? Lines at food banks. Hard choices between making rent payments and paying the light bill. Workers who must be physically present at their jobs, as opposed to many white collar workers who have been working from home on their laptops, have been hit especially hard. You know who else has been hit especially hard? Floridians. The state’s maximum unemployment benefit is $275. Compare that to New York State, where it’s $504.

To gather their data, Chase looked at checking accounts in 11 states.

Drew Limsky
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