The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes $350 billion in aid for the purpose of alleviating the fiscal stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. New York is estimated to receive a total of $24 billion, or seven percent of these coronavirus relief funds. Specifically, $13 billion has been allocated for the New York State government, $6 billion for metropolitan cities, $4 billion for counties, $825 million for local governments, and $350 million for state capital projects. These Coronavirus recovery funds can be used to offset the pandemic’s impact on their revenues, pay government employees, fund capital projects, and to make broadband, water, and sewer infrastructure investments.[i]

According to the distribution formula, the funding amount for each state relies on its unemployed residents’ share of the total unemployed population in the US at the end of 2020. The featured map presents the estimated level of funding for each county in New York State. Additionally, county unemployment rates have also been included for context.

The first major federal relief package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020, provided $150 billion to states, territories, and tribal governments and relied on the total population to allocate funding.[ii] The difference in funding takes into consideration the impact that pandemic mitigation efforts have had on the unemployment rates in states. New York was one of the first states to impose a strict lockdown this time last year and has continued to impose restrictions based on the ebbs and flows of the virus throughout the state. In January 2020, before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, New Yorkers enjoyed a historically low unemployment rate of 3.8 percent, but by the year’s end, unemployment rose to 8.7 percent.[iii]


By Shamier Settle and Jonas Shaende, PhD

Map Source: Fiscal Policy Institute Analysis of House Committee on Oversight and Reform data as of 3/8/21 and Unemployment Rate data from the NYS Department of Labor Data (12/2020).

[i] American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, H.R. 1319, 117TH Congress,

[ii] Covid-19 Stimulus Bill: What it Means for States, (4/2020), National Council for States and Legislators,

[iii] NYS Economy Added 29,400 Private Sector Jobs in January 2021, (3/2021)  New York State Department of Labor,,from%205.7%25%20to%205.9%25.