Using U.S. Census data, Cooney and fellow researcher Luke Shaefer found food, housing and financial insecurity dropped in line with the stimulus payments. “The ability to pay for food, housing, their experience with adverse mental health conditions, the extent to which they are experiencing hardship, is directly related to government relief,” Cooney said. “It’s pretty compelling evidence that, yes, the government relief efforts have worked,” he said.
“He was like, OK, now we’re going to do this a month ahead, or pay the mortgage a month ahead, and I was cool with that,” she said. Brittany Zielinski remembers the anxiety and uncertainty of the start of the pandemic. The stay-at-home mom says when she and her husband first got stimulus checks, his suggestion was to get ahead on bills.
University of Michigan Researcher Patrick Cooney says that was the purpose of the relief was to sure up families in a time of dramatic uncertainty and material hardship. That massive amount of money helped America rebound, and a new study found that the money helped many Americans pay for necessities like food and bills.
She said the economy is also on pace to wipe out losses from the pandemic if the rebound stays on Track. According to Mukherji, it takes time to get $1.9 trillion into the economy, and she doesn’t see the need for another round of stimulus that some people are pushing for. Prices for consumer goods were up 4.2% in April, the fastest 12-month gain since 2008. “The economy has shown, I would say, given the extremely large shock has shown remarkable resilience,” Nivedita Mukherji, an associate dean at the Oakland University School of News, said.
According to the study, from December 2020 to April 2021, food insufficiency fell by more than 40%, financial instability fell by 45% and adverse mental health symptoms fell by 20%. While the poorest Americans saw the largest benefits, even families making upwards of $100,000 saw real gains. If you didn’t get a stimulus check, Cooney says you still benefited since that money helped boost weak consumer spending, propping up the economy.
The News Highlights
- Stimulus checks helped reduce food insufficiency and financial insecurity, the study concludes.
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