SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The historic coronavirus stimulus bill now waits in the hands of the House, as lawmakers in the Senate passed the bill Wednesday night.

This $2-trillion relief for Americans and businesses comes as a record 3.3 million Americans apply for unemployment.

When the stimulus bill was first announced, the part of the bill that caught many people's attention was the direct payments to Americans.

Estimates show more than 90% of us adults, whether you're working or not, are eligible for a full or partial one-time payment.

But now the concern is shifting to unemployment, and how local workers can get help, both through the stimulus bill and through the job market.

"From arguably the most partisan, divisive thing you can do, to coming together entirely, a hundred of us, to meet this challenge, I think says a lot about the United States Senate as an institution," Senator McConnell said.

The coronavirus stimulus bill is likely to pass in the House Friday, and get signed into law by President Trump shortly after.

The goal is to help struggling Americans in what could soon be a lagging economy.

"It's a historic day because it matches a historic crisis and our people need help. They were crying out to us to help," Senator Schumer said.

New numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor show unemployment claims in Massachusetts spiked from last week from the week prior, representing a nearly 2000% increase in people needing help.

The new unemployment stimulus bill would help supplement the weekly benefits, offered by the state.

In Mass., workers can get approximately 50% of their weekly income, up to a certain cap.

The stimulus package would provide an additional $600 a week.

For workers hardest hit by coronavirus shutdowns, like restaurant workers, the bill could help fill the gap and get them close to their usual paycheck.

Gig workers, part-time workers, and self-employed people are eligible for help under the bill as well.

For residents who are currently seeking work, or may want to shift career plans, there is good news.

Western Mass News spoke over Facetime to Summit Careers Inc, a local recruiting and career company.

Their president, Bryan Picard said many places, especially businesses deemed essential, are seeking workers right now.

"If I had 30 employees right now that were good employees, we would be able to put them all to work tomorrow," Picard explained.

Picard said many people may be afraid to leave their homes or may assume no companies are hiring due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Though the company is doing more video and phone interviews with potential workers, Picard said there are still chances for people to make the next move in their career, even during times like these.

"There’s a lot of companies that have just been dying for great employees, and right now, they’re looking at this as an opportunity to pick up some folks that maybe weren’t in the market before," Picard explained.

Now for those waiting on the relief of the stimulus bill's one-time payments to Americans, there is some uncertainty over when that money will go out.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wants to see the first wave of payments go out by April 6, but others estimate it could be as late as the end of April for some Americans.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.