April 22, 2021
The Gateway For Payroll Data
Social Media in 2021: What Do Most Americans Use?

A majority of Americans say they use YouTube and Facebook, while use of Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok is especially common among adults under 30.

Despite a string of controversies and the public’s relatively negative sentiments about aspects of social media, roughly seven-in-ten Americans say they ever use any kind of social media site – a share that has remained relatively stable over the past five years, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults.

Beyond the general question of overall social media use, the survey also covers use of individual sites and apps. YouTube and Facebook continue to dominate the online landscape, with 81% and 69%, respectively, reporting ever using these sites. And YouTube and Reddit were the only two platforms measured that saw statistically significant growth since 2019, when the Center last polled on this topic via a phone survey.

Paving the Payments Future
Landlords Say Tenants Are Not Tapping Rent Relief

FORT WORTH, Texas — On the morning of April 8, landlord Margarita Palacios went before a Tarrant County, Texas, judge via Zoom and tried to explain why she wanted to evict a tenant who owed $4,350 in back rent.

Palacios, representing The Palace apartments, began to explain, “We sent her links to rental assistance programs and offered to help fill out the applications in our office, but—”

“I don’t really need to know,” said Justice of the Peace Mary Tom Curnutt, interrupting Palacios midsentence. “I don’t really have a dog in the fight, I will just tell you that if there’s still any chance of you getting your money then don’t take the judgment, but if you want to get them out of there, let’s get them out of there.”

Those experiencing homelessness can get Economic Impact Payments and other benefits.

Those experiencing homelessness can get Economic Impact Payments and other tax benefits. Help #IRS spread the word:

IRS has an ongoing effort during the pandemic reminding people who don’t have a permanent address that they may still qualify for Economic Impact Payments and other tax benefits. Help us spread the word: 

Americans experiencing homelessness may still qualify for Economic Impact Payments and other tax benefits, but the #IRS needs information from people who don’t usually file a tax return. Help spread the word:

The only way for the #IRS to have information to issue Economic Impact Payments and other tax benefits is for people to file a basic 2020 tax return with the agency. Help spread the word: 

People don’t need a permanent address or a bank account to get Economic Impact Payments and other tax benefits, but the #IRS needs information from people who don’t usually file a tax return. Help spread the word: 
PPP bill would make loan recalculations retroactive for farmers, sole proprietors

  • A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill Tuesday that would let farmers, ranchers and sole proprietors retroactively use gross income rather than net income to calculate the amount they could receive in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.
  • The Biden administration on Feb. 22 announced it would let independent contractors, sole proprietors and the self-employed use gross income instead of payroll to calculate loan amounts. The Small Business Administration (SBA), however, didn’t institute the changes until early March and only applied them from that date forward, saying it lacked the authority to make changes retroactive.
  • Tuesday’s bill would let most independent contractors who received PPP funds between Jan. 11 and March 3 apply the gross income formula retroactive to Dec. 27, the date Congress passed the stimulus bill that revived PPP. Farm-partnership borrowers, under the bill, could apply the formula retroactive to March 27, 2020, the date Congress passed the CARES Act that created PPP.

A year of COVID-19 brought record consumer debt and collection complaints

After more than a year of COVID-19, the nation’s collective ability to cope with dual public health and economic crises has diminished many consumers’ ability to remain financially stable. While this February’s national employment report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a net gain of 379,000 jobs and white unemployment dropped to 5.6%, there was no corresponding improvement for Black and Latino workers. Instead, unemployment was respectively higher at 9.9% and 8.5%.  

Workers without jobs typically receive unemployment benefits that vary across the country in the amount and duration. Although the U.S. Department of Labor finds the 2021 national average for state unemployment benefits to be $346.46, fifteen states have weekly benefits less than $300 and include locales with substantial workers of color, including: Arizona ($238.23); Florida ($233.59); Louisiana ($192.98); Mississippi ($190.27); Missouri ($253.87); North Carolina ($222.14); and Tennessee ($222.89).  

House lawmakers pass cannabis banking bill

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act on Monday, a bill that would provide protections to financial institutions that offer services to marijuana-related businesses.

The legislation, which was introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers last month, passed by a vote of 321-101, and now heads to the Senate.

The bill has been introduced every Congress since 2013 by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-CO, and passed in the House in 2019, only to stall in the then-Republican-controlled Senate. House Democrats tried to fold the legislation into two coronavirus relief measures proposed by the House, but the language was not included in the bill President Joe Biden signed last month.

Student loan forgiveness: What $10,000 in cancellation would look like by U.S. state

As the president mulls Democrat calls to cancel up to $50,000 in federally-backed student loan debt via executive order, a new analysis shows how $10,000 in forgiveness would affect borrowers in each U.S. state.

Analyzing Education Department (ED) data as of September 2020, Student Loan Hero estimated that $10,000 forgiveness would cost roughly $315 billion and erase the entire balances for 34% of borrowers. (A payment pause on qualifying loans has been in effect since March 2020 and will last at least through September 2021.)

California, Texas, and a variety of states east of the Mississippi River with higher numbers of college graduates holding student debt would see the most relief from $10,000 in forgiveness. (Hover over map for more details.) 

Policy questions remain as global governments explore CBDCs

Bank Policy Institute's chief examines the impact and drawbacks of various models of digital coin as the Fed and other countries forge ahead.

As nations across the globe launch studies into the potential benefits and mechanics of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), many questions remain regarding the coins' policy implications, said Bank Policy Institute (BPI) CEO Greg Baer.

"A central bank digital currency is not simply paper currency in digital form: its adoption would have profound consequences for the U.S. financial system and economy," Baer wrote in a working paper published this month. "It could transform the place of the central bank, and the government more generally, in our society."

7 Steps To Take for Financial Wellness in 2021

At the start of 2021, you may have vowed to pay down debt, boost your credit score or build an emergency fund. Perhaps you’re still going strong with these financial goals, or perhaps you’re starting to lose your momentum. Maybe you’ve surrendered altogether.

If you’re in any of these boats, rest assured that you’re not alone. According to a study by researchers at Scranton University, only 19% of people keep their resolutions, and most give up by mid-January. There are a lot of reasons why we fail at our resolutions, and usually, it has nothing to do with our willpower or lack thereof. One common reason we’re unsuccessful is that we don’t give ourselves clear paths to achieve the lofty goals we’ve set. Sometimes, all you need to triumph is to simply reframe your approach.

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