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UConn Economist Warns House Relief Package Is Bare Minimum Needed For N.Y., Conn.

Saul Loeb
Pool via AP

A Connecticut economist says the $2.4 trillion federal stimulus package proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the bare minimum that states like New York and Connecticut would need to stave off a recession. The size of the package is currently being negotiated with the White House.

UConn economist Fred Carstensen said the latest U.S. unemployment numbers show that recovery from the COVID-19 economic slowdown has stalled in much of the country.

“Unemployment as of two weeks ago was 8.4 percent," Carstensen said. "Which is exactly where we were in August. So it means that we are no longer net creating jobs.”

Carstensen said that’s why a federal stimulus package is urgently needed.

“If we don’t get intervention then unemployment is actually, in all likelihood, going to go up," he said. "And we are going to see other characteristics of a contracting economy.”

Pelosi’s proposed relief package includes a second stimulus check to taxpayers in addition to aid to state and local governments. There’s also money for airlines and small businesses, additional unemployment benefits, funds for the postal service and election security.

Senate Republicans have not produced another bill since their $300 billion proposal failed two weeks ago.

President Trump has said he wouldn't approve more than $1.5 trillion in federal relief.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.