Unemployment overpayments: Thousands of unemployed workers were accidentally overpaid earlier in the year as part of coronavirus relief efforts. Some states like Colorado and Pennsylvania are seeking to regain those funds, reports The Wall Street Journal. Delays in receiving unemployment benefits caused many individuals who received overpayment to attribute the large sums to back pay they were owed. The Colorado state government claims the overpayments were in part due to recipients misrepresenting their income when applying for unemployment benefits, while Pennsylvania admits a malfunction with their payment calculator program resulted in higher than expected payments for many recipients.
Pay-advance work perks: Per The New York Times, many households have begun turning to pay-advance apps like Earnin, Brigit or Rain for relief over the past two years. These apps have become more appealing than a traditional payday loan due to the lack of interest and by allowing individuals early access to their paychecks for a low, sometimes-optional fee. Some employers are beginning to offer these apps as a benefit to their workers as a result. Last year, employees took advantage of these programs via their workplace over 37 million times and gained access to over $6 billion in funds.
Advertising shifts: Many companies have shifted their advertising with questions centered around how to effectively tell stories while still being sensitive to the economic toll and health crisis dictating content and theme. Some viewers expect to see cues about current events on the screen, such as actors practicing social distancing, while others want to escape from reality, which has created a unique set of challenges for even the most seasoned ad-industry vets. The Wall Street Journal offers a unique comparison of how some of the biggest brands have changed their approaches to better reflect the current environment and offers insight into the ad industry post-COVID19.
Pandemic Recession: Despite a sharp economic recovery in May as businesses began to reopen after initial restrictions, The New York Times fears a recession is still looking on the horizon. Analysis of government employment data for industries that should not have been affected by the pandemic indicates layoff numbers over 2% higher than what was seen during the 2008 recession, even excluding sectors which were directly affected like hotels and restaurants.