Economists believe a longer-term solution should be made effective today, rather than waiting until another year to support the self-employed who have no other source of support during a persisting pandemic.

Jim Stanford

Jim Stanford, economist and director of the Centre for Future Work, based at the Australia Institute, retweeted an article by David Macdonald, a senior economist at the Canadian Centre  for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), on more than 1.5 million workers likely to be impacted by the winding down of federal Covid-19 benefits programmes that are due to end on the 23rd of October 2021 in Canada. These workers are also not likely to have any other source of support.

Three pandemic supports, including the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) business programmes, and the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) for self-employed workers will end. Almost 640,000 employed workers’ jobs are at risk with the end of business support programmes, while workers will be legible for the employment insurance (EI) benefits, but without the $500-per week aid. However, these businesses may benefit from new replacements such as the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Programme or the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Programme.

About 880,000 self-employed Canadians are expected to lose pandemic support with the end of the CRB programme, with no replacement programme or EI until January 2023. Additionally, about 40,000 to 50,000 businesses are about to lose CERS and CEWS benefits, leaving over 600,000 workers at the risk of losing their jobs but with expectations of supporting them with new replacement and insurance benefits.

Christian Zimmermann

Christian Zimmermann, assistant vice president for information services at Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, shared an article on recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics suggesting that the service sector earnings having increased relative to the goods sector since the Covid-19 recession in the US.

Data from the current employment statistics programme revealed that from March 2006 to March 2020, a service sector employee earned approximately 78 cents for every dollar earned by a goods sector employee. However, the Covid-19 pandemic and the recession changed the equation, and by September 2021, a service sector employee earned approximately 81 cents for every dollar earned by a goods sector employee, a 4% increase.

David Beckworth

David Beckworth, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Centre at George Mason University and a former international economist at the US Department of the Treasury, retweeted an article shared by Nick Timiraos, chief economic correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, on the US Fed imposing new restrictions on officials’ investment activities during a relentless pandemic. Timiraos quoted Norman Eisen, former lawyer in the Obama White House, to have stated that the US Fed’s new rules were spot-on.

Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chair, imposed rules prohibiting trading of individual stocks and bonds on senior officials following active stock-trading reported last year as the Fed responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. The event not only led to the resignation of the two reserve bank presidents, but also dimmed Powell’s prospects of being re-appointed as head of the central bank.

Senior Fed officials will also have to pre-approve and pre-schedule any trades, in a bid to reveal that they did not use any inside information to make personal investments.