Congress is starting to take notice of the fact that more than 1.3 million people will lose their jobless benefits on Dec. 28 unless lawmakers renew an emergency aid program for the unemployed that\’s set to expire this year.
House Democrats said on Thursday that they won\’t support a budget deal unless it includes a one-year extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which would cost roughly $25.1 billion. In response, Republican Speaker John Boehner said he would \”entertain\” the idea of an extension but wants to see a specific proposal from the White House first.
Naturally, this raises further questions: Where does it all end? Will a program that was meant to provide “emergency” aid to the long-term unemployed get extended indefinitely, year after year? And how much does the job market need to improve before this program can shrink back to normal levels?
Over at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Chad Stone offers one way to think about this question. Technically, we\’re still very much facing a jobs “emergency,” even after years of recovery. That’s particularly true for workers who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more — the people most likely to be affected by the cut-off in benefits:
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at