But will it work?
On Friday, President Biden addressed the nation with remarks about relief for unemployment and his plan for the future.
"We’re going to be talking about the recovery package, but we saw the jobs report that only 6,000 private sector jobs have been created. And at that rate, it’s going to take 10 years before we get to full employment," Biden said in his speech.
The economy added 49,000 jobs in January after losing 227,000 jobs in December. The three-month trend is weak. After downward revisions to the data for both November and December totaling around 160,000, the economy has added an average of only 29,000 per month. This pace is far below the rate necessary to pull us out of the pandemic jobs deficit—there are about 10 million fewer jobs now relative to February.
While job gains were weak, the unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent, from 6.7 percent in December. This remains 2.8 percentage points above the rate in February 2020, before the pandemic. However, over this same time period, more than 4 million workers have dropped out of the labor force, disproportionately women.
So, what's Biden's COVID relief bill plan?
House Democratic leaders are confident that they will pass the bill through Congress before March 15. It's reported to include:
- $1,400 stimulus checks
- Billions for vaccine distribution
- Aid for state and local governments