The number of people seeking unemployment benefits continues to decline and Senator Todd Young (R-IN) believes the Payroll Protection Program has a role in those dwindling numbers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday announced 1.5 million Americans last week filed for initial unemployment claims, down 355,000 from the previous week.
“There is a connection there. We have evidence of that,” said Young.
The BLS says first time filings have dropped for ten straight weeks. During the last week of March, the U.S. peaked with approximately 6.9 million people registering for initial unemployment claims during the COVID-19 crisis.
The weekly drop is welcome news to Young.
“It’s certainly heartening to see these numbers because they contradicted all predictions that we see even more people going on the unemployment rolls than we did the previous month,” said Young. “I think what it shows is that the paycheck Protection Program and the other measures that we implemented in a bipartisan fashion are working, and they’re working very well.”
In early May, Young was joined by Senator Michael Bennett (D-CO) to introduce the Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards a Recovery in 2020 Act loan program.
RESTART would provide funding to jump-start the hardest-hit businesses for the remainder of 2020 and provide loan forgiveness as a backstop against ongoing difficulties for small businesses.
Some of the enhancements were included in the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which was signed last week by President Trump.
“They’re allowing employers to stay solvent and pay their bills. And perhaps most importantly, they’re putting money in the pockets of rank and file. And that’s really important in a time like this,” Young said.
The original PPP, created under the CARES Act, required small businesses to spend the funds in the eight-week period from when they received the money. The Young-Bennett bill called for an extension to 16 weeks, but the final version extended it to 24 weeks.
“The Paycheck Protection Program is clearly working based on not just the feedback I’m hearing from my constituents, but also based on the jobs report that we have just received. Let’s hope there is more good news to come,” said Young
Under the new law, businesses now have until December 31 to rehire workers in order for their salaries to count towards forgiveness.
Senator Todd Young tells Inside INdiana Business PPP changes are helping small business owners.