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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) used $520 billion worth of taxpayer funds to save around 13.6 million jobs, according to estimates of available data from S&P Global U.S. chief economist Beth Ann Bovino.

Why it matters: That comes out to $38,235 per job over an eight-week period.

  • It's also about one quarter of the "more than 51 million jobs" Small Business Administration representatives said were saved in an op-ed last week.

Details: Bovino's reporting is based on Census calculations of small businesses and the size of the workforce, rather than specific recipients of the program, she tells Axios.

  • Of the 5 million loans made, 81% of recipients were non-employers and 19% were small businesses averaging 10 employees.

Between the lines: Bovino assumed "that these small businesses would not have survived at the same pre-virus capacity, if not for the loan."

  • "However, that is an open question, as it’s not clear whether all of the loan recipients needed a loan in the first place."

Flashback: The efficacy of the program has faced serious questions, with a June study for the National Bureau of Economic Research concluding that the PPP had "little material impact on employment at small businesses."

  • While not ruling out "a small positive employment effect (approximately 3–4 percentage points on employment rates)," the authors noted that it was "clear that the program did not restore the vast majority of jobs that were lost following the COVID shock."

One level deeper: A recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business found that about 22% of firms that received PPP money have fired workers or expect to lay off at least one after the loan term expires.

Go deeper

What banks' booming profits say about the economy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some of America's biggest banks are making more money now than they were before the pandemic hit.

Why it matters: Quarterly earnings out this week hint that the worst economic scenarios haven't yet come to pass. Still, executives are warning there could be a rocky road ahead for the economy.

Ina Fried, author of Login
3 mins ago - Technology

Apple sets September quarter sales record despite pandemic

Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking at the Apple 12 launch event in October. Photo: Apple

Apple on Thursday reported quarterly sales and earnings that narrowly exceeded analysts estimates as the iPhone maker continued to see strong demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

What they's saying: The company said response to new products, including the iPhone 12 has been "tremendously positive" but did not give a specific forecast for the current quarter.

Supreme Court rejects second GOP effort to cut absentee ballot deadline in N.C.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Supreme Court, for the second time in two days, rejected a GOP request to shorten the deadline mail-in ballots must be received by North Carolina officials to be counted.

The state of play: The state's deadline had been extended from 3 days to 9 days post-Election Day.