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
The unemployment insurance (UI) system is a partnership between the federal government and state governments that provides a temporary weekly benefit to qualified workers who lose their job and are seeking work. The amount of that benefit is based in part on a worker’s past earnings. CBO estimates that UI benefits totaled $94 billion in … Continue reading »
The federal budget crisis in Washington known as the “fiscal cliff” has an estimated 400,000 long-term jobless Californians on the edge. A 41/2 -year-old program of emergency federal jobless assistance, which provides many of the state’s unemployed up to $450 a week in benefits, is scheduled to expire Dec. 29 — unless Congress and President … Continue reading »
The labor market has added nearly 5 million jobs since the post-Great Recession low in Feb. 2010. Because of the historic job loss of the Great Recession, however, the labor market still has 3.8 million fewer jobs than it had before the recession began in Dec. 2007. Furthermore, because the potential labor force grows as … Continue reading »
Congress last lengthened the deadline to file for benefits in February, but lawmakers also restructured the program at the time. The maximum number of weeks the jobless can collect unemployment benefits was reduced to 73 weeks. And in all states save New York, the jobless are no longer eligible for a separate federal extended benefits … Continue reading »
Federally funded extended unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are set to expire at the end of this year. These benefits serve two very useful public purposes. Most obviously, they provide a lifeline to the long-term unemployed and their families during the deepest and longest economic downturn since the 1930s.1 Less understood but equally crucial, the UI … Continue reading »
Substantial changes to tax and spending policies are scheduled to take effect in January 2013, significantly reducing the federal budget deficit. According to CBO’s projections, if all of that fiscal tightening occurs, real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) will drop by 0.5 percent in 2013 (as measured by the change from the fourth quarter of … Continue reading »
House Democrats are beginning their push for an extension of expanded federal unemployment benefits before more than 2.1 million workers lose them at year’s end. Ways and Means panel ranking member Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) and Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) released a committee report on Monday arguing for quick action to extend benefits before they expire … Continue reading»
The Federal Reserve has reiterated that the US economy is only growing slowly, and that the country’s unemployment rate “remains elevated”. Yet it added that the housing market had “shown some further signs of improvement”. The comments came as the US central bank kept interest rates on hold at between zero and 0.25%, as had … Continue reading »
Fiscal policy, at both the federal and state and local levels: headwinds for unemployment reduction says Bernanke
The accommodative monetary policies I have reviewed today, both traditional and nontraditional, have provided important support to the economic recovery while helping to maintain price stability… Notwithstanding these positive signs, the economic situation is obviously far from satisfactory… Further, the rate of improvement in the labor market has been painfully slow. I have noted on …Continue reading »