PUA benefits ends, many left without financial lifeline

AUGUST 28: The food line at the Grace Everett Food Pantry. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)


For the past 52 weeks, many unemployed Everett residents have been collect- ing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) in addition to Massachusetts unemployment compensation.

Everything ended on September 4.

The extra Federal stimulus payment of $300 per week supplementing nominal Massachusetts unemployment compensation gave a safety net of protection to those boxed out of the current labor market by changes brought on by the COVID-19.

The near-collapse of the US economy in 2020 forced the government to extend as well as enhance unemployment for the first time in modern history.

The aid and comfort given to many thousands of people in Massachusetts was a Godsend.

Now, the party is over, so to speak.

Those out of work need to find work and fast.

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Encore is hiring

JULY 22: Encore Boston Harbor Casino and Resort. (Photo By Jim Mahoney)

Good pay, benefits, plenty of jobs available


On or around September 4, the government’s unemployment windfall to those who lost their jobs during the pandemic comes to an end.

Many men and women will be looking for jobs.

Encore Boston Harbor is one of the best places to job search.

A perusal of the Encore jobs list posted online on their website reveals nearly 100 jobs available at the $2.6 billion casino and hotel complex.

Encore is a great employer.

They provide employees with good salaries commensurate with experience, job benefits including health care and vacation, but most importantly, for many who will apply and who will be hired, Encore provides careers.

This isn’t puffery.

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First anniversary marks dramatic change of lifestyle

The food line outside the Grace Food Pantry on Church Street one year ago. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso)


One year ago, the world changed overnight for most Americans.

About this time last March, former President Donald Trump announced to the nation that the pandemic wouldn’t amount to anything and that we had it under control.

Mayor Carlo DeMaria shut down the city and went to Aruba for a vacation.

The public schools closed. They are scheduled to reopen on April 5 after a year has passed.

One year later, and our world has been turned upside down.

Whether or not you believe the virus was deadly, we have endured a historic year, a year of loss and serious self-examination, a year of staying to ourselves and our families; a year apart from our families and loved ones; a year without movement as we have always known it.

One year ago, this week, six Americans had died of COVID-19.

We are now 530,000 deaths into the count from those who succumbed to the ravages of the COVID-19 virus – more per capita deaths than anywhere in the world during the past twelve months.

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Encore revenue drops $1 million, October OK, worst yet to come

A view of Encore Boston Harbor. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Financial disaster brewing for November numbers


Figures released by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission this week show a decline in revenues at Encore Boston Harbor that does not yet reflect the changes in operation that have taken place since late October and early November.

October figures were off about $1.8 million from September figures.

Total income hovered at $41.1 million which was down about $6 million from October 2019, according to the MGC.

If the past is an indication of what will be generated moving forward, November will be a revenue disaster, this, according to a former executive at the sprawling hotel and casino.

The hotel is closed.

This is a disaster of the first order for Encore and for the city.

The casino hours have been drastically altered.

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The return of unemployment add-on essential

Those of you who are unemployed – and there presently about 1 million unemployed in Massachusetts and many thousands in Everett – are sitting on the edge of your chairs praying the US Senate and the House will agree to reinstate the Federal $600 a week stipend that ran out on July 31.

Republicans try to make the case it is simply too much money to pay to the unemployed, that is disincentivizes people from going back to work.

This is where the disconnect between working people and our national leaders reaches a wide divide.

Most Republican senators, nearly all of whom are millionaires, complain that by giving the unemployed a chance to survive without sweating like animals hunting for their next meal, that the nation is hurt.

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