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Small-Business Loans Saved as Many as 3.2 Million U.S. Jobs

  • MIT, Fed researchers find PPP program supported employment
  • Program, extended until August, has faced challenges
People sit in an outside area of a restaurant in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, July 15.

People sit in an outside area of a restaurant in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, July 15.

Photographer: Nina Westervelt/Bloomberg

Hundreds of billions of dollars in government loans to small businesses helped save between 1.4 million and 3.2 million jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Federal Reserve researchers.

The Paycheck Protection Program, a centerpiece of the Trump administration’s economic response to the pandemic, boosted employment by 2% to 4.5%, economists including MIT’s David Autor wrote in the study posted Wednesday. The preliminary study was based on data from payroll processor Automatic Data Processing Inc. through the first week of June and doesn’t analyze PPP data directly.