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Technical.ly On the Record: What $600 means to people receiving unemployment benefits

For the third episode of Technical.ly's new interview series taking you inside our journalists' virtual notebooks, Philly's Michael Butler shares lessons from his recent reporting on the local impact of federal relief funding.

(Technical.ly file image)

The coronavirus pandemic is nowhere near over. Neither is the recession and mass unemployment it caused in the United States.

In the third episode of Technical.ly On the Record, our new interview series taking you inside the reporter’s virtual notebook to explore local economies in change, this editor chatted with Technical.ly Philly reporter Michael Butler.

He recently spoke to people receiving unemployment benefits about how they’ve been using the extra $600 per week provided through March’s CARES Act, and what they plan to do now that the program has ended amid an ongoing pandemic and recession that could keep them out of work for far longer.

The latest twist in this economic tale is that Congress is now considering the $1 trillion HEALS Act put forth by Senate Republicans that would keep the added benefit going, but at just $200 per week.

Butler also talks through how he found relevant folks to interview for the story — namely, Twitter.

Listen to our conversation below:

And watch it here:

Reminder that in Technical.ly On the Record, you can expect to hear from at least one Technical.ly reporter per week, to get a quick rundown of all our markets’ biggest stories (aka the kicker), and to hear the why, how and what’s next of each featured topic.

In this episode, I also shouted out these big stories published in our other markets over the past week:


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