Politics & Policies

Fiscal Cliff / Unemployment Benefits will abruptly end for 2 million in dec., and nearly one million more in the first quarter of 2013

Because over five million workers will be unable to collect federal UI benefits next year if Congress fails to act, NELP is calling upon Congress to make this issue a priority during the lame-duck session of the 112th Congress. Not only should Congress reauthorize the EUC program in its current form for the next year, it should also make a modest but high-impact investment in reemployment services.

Specifically, NELP proposes a new federal commitment of $1.6 billion to benefit 2.8 million workers served by the under-resourced state and local programs that connect unemployed workers to available jobs.

In June 2008, after the recession had begun but before it was declared, Congress authorized and President Bush signed into law the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program. At the time, the unemployment rate stood at 5.6 percent. 

As high unemployment persisted throughout the Great Recession and the nation’s slow recovery, EUC was reauthorized on ten occasions, most recently in February 2012 as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96).

Not only is the unemployment rate more than 40 percent higher today than when the EUC program was first enacted, the crisis of long-term unemployment is also far more severe. In June 2008, about 18 percent of the unemployed were considered long-term unemployed, that is, out of work for more than six months. By contrast, today, an astounding 40.6 percent of all jobless workers (5.0 million people) are long-term unemployed. And this figure has improved only slightly since the last time Congress reauthorized EUC in February 2012. At that time, 5.4 million workers were long-term unemployed, representing 42.6 percent of all the unemployed.

Choosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from

via Don’t Push Jobless AmericAns off the cliff – Three Million Jobless Workers Will Lose Unemployment Insurance in Early 2013 if Congress Fails to Renew Federal Benefits

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