Federal Fiscal Relief and COVID-19: Implications for Californians
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020 and provides the largest amount of fiscal relief to date – approximately $2 trillion. The CARES Act includes one-time cash rebates for low- and middle-income households; additional support for unemployment benefits; loans for small businesses; direct funding for states, local governments, and tribal communities; funds changes to food assistance in the Families First legislation; an array of additional health care supports; and some additional support for human services, housing and homelessness, and student debt relief. These federal actions are significant and needed. At the same time, millions of Californians are experiencing threats to their health and economic security, and for those excluded from the federal fiscal relief efforts, the economic hardship and health risks are particularly critical.
A Regional Look at the Industries Hit Hardest by COVID-19 Economic Shutdown
This Fact Sheet shows that the major industries most immediately impacted by the COVID-19-related economic shutdown – leisure and hospitality, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and other services – employ large numbers of Californians in the state’s largest metropolitan areas.1 Without a sufficient federal response to help workers and their families, the shutdown will have a ripple effect throughout local economies as people who lose work will lose income and be forced to cut back on their spending, thus reducing demand for business more broadly.
Californians With Low Incomes Will be Hit Hardest by the COVID-19 Economic Shutdown
This Fact Sheet shows that the types of occupations most immediately impacted by the COVID-19-related economic shutdown typically pay low wages, providing annual incomes near or below the poverty line based on the Supplemental Poverty Measure for Los Angeles, even for full-time work. This means that the Californians who will bear the brunt of the economic slowdown live paycheck to paycheck even when work is plentiful and are unlikely to have savings to fall back on when their jobs disappear.