Over 3,500 people are receiving unemployment assistance after losing their jobs as a result of the COVID pandemic.

The latest reports show that 2,263 are receiving assistance through local pandemic assistance program, the CROSS Act, while 1,300 are receiving unemployment assistance from US CARES Act through the WIOA Program.

Social Security Administration data confirms this report, demonstrating a 42% drop in private sector employment contributions to the Social Security Administrations from March to December 2020.

Of the 3,563 receiving pandemic unemployment assistance, nearly 3,000 are locals and the rest are foreign contract workers.

The Palau National Government recently extended assistance under the CROSS Act for two more months, expiring on March 31st. The amount budgeted for this assistance is $1.5 million dollars. This money will be disbursed in two ways: as direct humanitarian assistance and as wages to re-employ workers in the tourism industry.  The program is expected to continue under new budget.

Funding assistance from US CARES Act includes remaining $5 million from the last CARES Act to cover last November and December disbursements of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, as well as new funding under the CONTINUED ASSISTANCE ACT OF 2020 (CAA). The amount designated under the CAA is undetermined and it is set to expire on March 14, 2021.

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