Emergency Unemployment Benefits Are Not Forgotten

As politicians have shifted their focus to a discussion of minimum wage this spring, addressing the December expiration of emergency unemployment benefits, retroactively, appeared increasingly difficult. However, the Senate now appears ready to raise the issue, again, nearly two months after the emergency benefits expired.

The number of Americans, who have been cut off from unemployment insurance due to congressional inaction, will swell to just under 2 million people as February draws to a close. Approximately 1.3 million Americans were abruptly cut off from the program on Dec. 28, 2013, and the number denied benefits will continue to grow without congressional action. More than $3 billion in unemployment checks has not been distributed to unemployed workers as a result of the program‘s expiration.

The cut in unemployment compensation will continue to exacerbate shortages at food banks, elevate mortgage delinquency rates, and inhibit the ability of job-seekers to continue their search, if no action is taken.

Payroll employment, the labor market participation rate, and long-term unemployment have still not returned to pre-recession levels, and robust job growth in the near term appears unlikely. For these reasons, efforts to extend emergency unemployment compensation have attracted bipartisan support, especially among conservatives in states still plagued with high unemployment. Nonetheless, only four Republican Senators supported moving forward with the proposal in a procedural vote in early February.

Extending emergency unemployment benefits is a vital piece of unfinished business for this Congress, and it is perhaps the only vehicle of its kind that could provide relief to job-seekers trying to make it in a tough market. An extension of the emergency unemployment compensation program (EUC) should continue to be pursed for the same reasons the minimum wage should be increased-- the economy is not working for the average American. We can, and should, help low-wage job workers, those working part-time for economic reasons, and unemployed job seekers.

For a breakdown of ongoing state-by-state impacts, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has produced a concise chart that extends through December 2014 here.


For Further Reading:

Emergency Unemployment Benefits Are Not ForgottenThe Fine Print blog, Feb. 26, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Ways to Take ActionThe Fine Print blog, March 6, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Time to Petition the GovernmentThe Fine Print blog, March 12, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Compromise in the SenateThe Fine Print blog, March 14, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Boehner Signals Reluctance in the HouseThe Fine Printblog, March 21, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits Extension Clears First Hurdle in the SenateThe Fine Printblog, March 28, 2014

Extending Emergency Unemployment: Senate Finally Expected to Vote to Extend Benefits   and Rush through Corporate Tax CutsThe Fine Print blog, April 2, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Benefits Bill Passes the Senate, Increasing Pressure on the HouseThe Fine Print blog, April 8, 2014

Stories of Americans Cut Off of Emergency Unemployment CompensationGovernment Matters, April 22, 2014

Emergency Unemployment Extension Expected to Take Back Seat to Tax ExtendersThe Fine Print blog, April 25, 2014

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Great article thanks for the time you took too write it. There should be more media on this issue but there isn't
I have never been into politics so this is a completely unbiased opinion from a normal us citizen. I am 25 years old and live in the state of Michigan. I have worked a few different jobs while going to school, like I'm sure other people have, and once I finished I found what seemed to be a promising job. I had to relocate across the state and did so and after 8 months I found myself laid off for the first time. My benefits exhausted mid January so I have been struggling since then, which caused me to get involved to see what gov was doing and it is completely disgusting. Republicans voting it down until other bills they like are passed, ( most likely something to make them even more rich) Americans on comment boards being against it claiming unemployed people are "stealing there food" and using "their" tax money for it, which I don't know if they know but they take plenty of taxes out of the very little you get anyway. I just can't believe how long its taking to get this passed, especially with all the other bills they are voting on first that are completely irrelevant to Americans in debt. There are not many jobs out there, if your young, you will have trouble finding work, unless you know someone, even with a college degree, which my interest rates are through the roof because my parents made a decent living, we always had food and a roof but that doesn't mean my parents can just sh!t out 30 grand for college. The only places consistently hiring are minimum wage jobs, which people are against raising the minimum wage as well. I just don't understand how evil this country is. I understand that the higher tiers may be excessive, for instance, people on it for 99 weeks, but the fact of the matter is they are still American and need to be helped before we send a billion to this country for clothing and a billion to that country to teach them some other skill that will just backfire on us like it does every time. The saddest part is it doesn't matter, nothing will change this, we can vote every single person out of office. All that will happen is another batch of evil will spawn in its place, In a nutshell, from my brief overlook I can say it looks like the goal of gov is to continue to make a bigger separation between the mega rich and the poor. Middle class died years ago.
Who do these politicians think they are do they think that they can do what they want with other people's lives do they know that one day there going to have to answer to the decision they make most people don't get lay,ed of because they ask to and they don't have a magic wand to pop them in to another job just like that it took time to get the first job they lost a it's going to take time to get the next job and we sure can't go get a job if we have means to travel some of us use mass transit and some need gas so I'm asking you politicians to help me get back to work by coming to an agreement to extend unemployment benefits thank you.
Well thanks to the unemployment cut as if Monday at 11am I am homeless. It is a cold where I am and I don't know what to do. They need to figure something our. I have been on so many interviews, but when they say we have 10 other people to interview I know the job is not mine.
Well thanks to the unemployment cut as if Monday at 11am I am homeless. It is a cold where I am and I don't know what to do. They need to figure something our. I have been on so many interviews, but when they say we have 10 other people to interview I know the job is not mine.
I lost my apartment. I now live in a rooming house with my 3 year old who I hope I can forget .I share a kitchen and a bathroom with people I don't know. I have worked since I was 14 I am now 36 .bless america I guess I will go back to the oldest profession maybe I'll have better luck.what kind of country do I live and where I have to think about prostitution in order to raise my child.
sorry for all the previous misspelling I'm trying to do this from a phone which I'm sure will be off in a few days. I wish everyone luck. See my previous msg below
Seems neither Harry Reid nor President Obama want the extension passed. They'd rather use it as ammo come election time against the other side. Why haven't they blown it up to the devastating level it should be and give it more media coverage?? I don't know when to believe anymore. I could careless about politics, but the house and senate have taken 3 weeklong or more recesses since the beginning of the year.
Yeah I'm in the same boat. I lost my car, my lights are going to be shut off and I am on the verge of being homeless. I am the mother of a United States Marine. Nice right. He won't have a home to come back to and all his and my belongings will be gone. Including his beloved Labrador retriever. Thank you scumbag politicians for ruining my live. I will die on the street. THEY ARE ALL A BUNCH OF THEIVING BASTARDS. I hope they all drop dead tomorrow. They should not even be considered Human beings let alone Americans. They're inhumane and heartless pricks. Semper Fi