But in terms of the multiplier effect, it is likely to pale compared to the impact of spring, when the unemployment rate was much higher and there were real fears the country could experience a second Great Depression. .
“The more you push the stimulus button, the less impact you see,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West in San Francisco. And the hardest hit sectors – foodservice, entertainment, and travel – likely won’t see a big boost now, as consumers fear going out or living in states like California and New York, where restaurants and other activities are limited.
Mr Anderson said the stimulus could worsen some of the inequalities that have become evident over the past year. Many employees work from home and have largely been spared the layoffs – the unemployment rate for college graduates is now just 4.2%.
But the lowest paid service workers have been hit hard, and the unemployment rate stands at 7.7% for those with only a high school diploma. Better-off households, Anderson said, could spend money on stocks or buy a house, which could “make the bubble formation in certain assets like stocks and housing worse.”
Julia Bald, a librarian who lives in Beverly, Massachusetts, isn’t looking to bet on the stock market, but plans to put her stimulus check in the bank as a precaution. If the virus reappears and the library has to shut down, she fears she will be fired. Ms. Bald also has $ 10,000 in student loans outstanding and is trying to save as much money as she can.
“I haven’t had a lot of financial hardship, it’s not like I have to worry about paying the rent or anything,” said Ms Bald, 30. “But my nervousness about where the economy might go from here makes me want to save it just in case.”
Dennis Helmstetter of Frederick, Md., Also plans to save the payment of $ 600. He managed to keep not one, but three jobs during the pandemic – as a real estate agent, a clerk at Fort Detrick and a bar and restaurant supervisor at his local Elks Lodge.