Millions of Appalachians Will Lose Benefits Without Congressional Action

The additional federal unemployment benefits that were provided to aid millions of Americans who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic are coming to an end this week, unless Congress acts quickly.

The additional $600 per week of federal assistance provided under the CARES Act is set to end on Friday, July 31. More than 54 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the outbreak began.

Congress appears to have reached an impasse on an extension of the aid, as Republicans look for ways to reduce assistance and, therefore, the federal cost associated with the relief program.

Meanwhile in Appalachia, unemployment rates in many counties are as high as 20 percent as states in the region grapple with the reopening of their economies and surges in infection rates. 

In the interactive map below, you can explore the unemployment rate of each of Appalachia’s 420 counties as we head toward the end of federal assistance. 

Editor’s Note: The data below comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported unemployment numbers as of the end of June 2020. 

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