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

Jobless claims show unemployment shifting, not falling

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Thursday's jobless claims report showed U.S. unemployment appears to be turning a corner, but it may not be the one those anxious for an economic recovery are hoping for.

What happening: Unadjusted initial jobless claims for the week ending Aug. 1 fell below 1 million for the first time in 20 weeks, while the number of people receiving traditional unemployment benefits fell below 16 million for the first time in 17 weeks for the week ending July 25. Continued claims are reported with a two week lag.

Kudlow says he regrets claiming Trump couldn't use executive order for unemployment

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that he regrets suggesting this week that unemployment benefits can only be extended by Congress.

Why it matters: President Trump's decision to bypass Congress to sign four executive actions, including one that provides $400 per week in extra unemployment benefits, has prompted outcry from Democrats and even some Republicans who believe he is overstepping his constitutional authority.

2 hours ago - World

Lebanon information minister resigns days after deadly explosion

Anti-government protesters in Beirut. Photo: STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Lebanon’s information minister resigned on Sunday in the wake of mass protests over the deadly blast in Beirut's port last week, which has killed at least 160 people and injured nearly 6,000, AP reports.

Why it matters: In her resignation letter, Manal Abdel-Samad called change "elusive" and apologized for not delivering more to the country, which had been devastated by a financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic even before the blast destroyed much of the capital city.