Who’s minding the store? Extra $600 a week makes it tough to find workers, even amid 20% jobless rate

Transportation spending is down 41.9 percent, restaurants and hotels spending is down 21.9 percent and spending on health care is down 16.5 percent.

But it’s important to note the spending increase in low-income ZIP codes likely is much less on a dollar-to-dollar basis in the wealthier ZIP codes, said Nick Juhle, senior vice president and director of investment research at wealth management firm Greenleaf Trust.

“These are the people who typically spend the most, certainly more than someone on the poverty line that is spending a little more now,” Juhle said. “It’s primarily their spend is going to be essential. That essential spending won’t change and will force many back to work if the unemployment payments end.”

‘A temporary phenomenon’

Barring an extension by Congress, the $600 weekly pandemic unemployment benefit is set to sunset at the end of July.

“This a temporary phenomenon,” Juhle said. “Landscaping companies can’t get labor and construction can’t get labor back, for instance, because how fast the industry snapped back alongside the additional unemployment payments. But that’s set to expire and you’re already hearing Senate Republicans talk about an extension being a nonstarter.”

Read more in Crain’s Detroit (premium article)

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