December 8, 2012

The price of not extending unemployment insurance

Greg Kaufmann, Nation - If Congress doesn’t extend the unemployment insurance program by the end of this year, 2 million workers will lose their benefits between Christmas and New Years Day, another 1 million by April 2013 and more than 5 million people will be without benefits by the end of 2013, according to the National Employment Law Project. This would occur at a moment when there are still 12 million people unemployed, and there are approximately 3.4 unemployed applicants for every available job opening.

“The jobs are still not there,” says Edith Harrison, 59, who lives in Colorado Springs and was laid off from her job at a senior assisted living facility in August. “How can you cut unemployment benefits off, and blame someone for not being able to get a job, when they didn’t create the situation?”
The anti-poverty effect of unemployment insurance is significant and undeniable. In 2010, the program lifted 3.2 million people above the poverty line (less than $18,000 for a family of three). In 2011, it lifted 2.3 million people above the line, including 620,000 children. (The program had less of a poverty reducing effect last year in part because a provision in the Recovery Act that paid an additional $25 per week in benefits was allowed to expire.) The average benefit is just $291 per week and it covers approximately 40 percent of a typical family’s food, housing and transportation costs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

“How can you cut unemployment benefits off, and blame someone for not being able to get a job, when they didn’t create the situation?”

The filthy rich have succeeded in raising Ms Harrison's consciousness. That was a mistake, as they will learn.