Tens of millions of unemployed Americans are losing a benefit that helped keep them afloat.
A $600 weekly jobless benefit from the federal government that became a lifeline for tens of millions of unemployed Americans, while also helping prop up the coronavirus-ravaged economy, expired at midnight as officials in Washington failed to agree on a new relief bill.
Joblessness remains at record levels, with some 30 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits. More than 1.4 million newly filed for state unemployment benefits last week — the 19th straight week that the tally had exceeded one million, an unheard-of figure before the pandemic.
Nearly 11 percent of Americans have said that they live in households where there is not enough to eat, according to a recent Census Bureau survey, and more than a quarter have missed a rent or mortgage payment.
The benefit’s expiration will force Louise Francis, who worked as a banquet cook at the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans for nearly two…