The economic impact of COVID-19 has been tremendous. In the United States, the unemployment rate measured 13.3% in May, with 42 million initial unemployment claims since early March. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – the third and largest relief package passed by the federal government – was signed into law on May 27, 2020, appropriating an historic $2.3 trillion dollars. Two notable components were the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), providing grants and loans to small businesses, and an expanded unemployment insurance program. As Congress considers another round of stimulus, two University of Chicago economists shared their insights, based on new research, on how these critical programs could be more effectively targeted and improved.
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