Covid-19 is causing a national coin shortage in the US
The Federal Reserve System released a report explaining who has been most affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.
The coronavirus pandemic has left millions of Americans with no jobs due to the economy shutting down to prevent the spread in the United States. Unemployment rates in the country are expected to reach their highest level since the Great Depression and the numbers won’t return to their pre-pandemic levels until 2022.
US coin flow impacted by coronavirus
Jerome Powell, Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve, testified before Congress in mid-June and explained that the coronavirus pandemic affected the flow of coins in the US economy. He explained that with shutdowns and decreases in cash purchases, the flow of coins has stopped and fewer coins are available to the public.
Additionally, the US Mint's production of new coins has been slowed due to safety measures put in place for the protection of employees. This isn't a shortage many believed was real, with comments online suggesting that it was a hoax or questioning what a virus has to do with coins.
In early June, the Federal Reserve implemented a temporary order to allocate coin distribution. This meant that some banks may not get their full weekly amount of coins delivered. Normally, business and financial institutions get coins both from the Federal Reserve and from customer interactions. With both of those sources running low, and the push for all online and contactless payment options, there's likely to be a shortage for a while.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the supply chain and normal circulation patterns for US coins. In the past few months, coin deposits from depository institutions to the Federal Reserve have declined significantly and the US Mint’s production of coin also decreased due to measures put in place to protect its employees," said the U.S. Federal Reserve.
"Federal Reserve coin orders from depository institutions have begun to increase as regions reopen, resulting in the Federal Reserve’s coin inventory being reduced to below normal levels."