Renewing Federal Emergency Unemployment Benefits: Vital for Women & Families - and the Economy
Persistently high unemployment — and historic levels of long-term unemployment — necessitate renewing federal emergency unemployment insurance benefits that are set to expire in December 2013.
More than four years after the severe recession that began in December 2007 officially ended in June 2009, the slow economic recovery has brought the national unemployment rate below 8 percent — but job seekers continue to outnumber job openings by almost three to one, and the ranks of the long-term unemployed remain at historic levels. Improvement in the national unemployment rate over the past year has been due entirely to people dropping out of, or not entering, the labor force due to weak job opportunities. As of October 2013, more than one in three jobless workers — nearly 4.1 million Americans — had been unemployed for more than six months.
Federal emergency unemployment benefits for longterm unemployed workers who have exhausted their state benefits (typically 26 weeks) are set to expire at the end of December. These benefits have played a critical role in the recovery, helping families avoid falling into poverty and spurring continued job growth by keeping dollars flowing into the economy. Allowing benefits to expire while unemployment remains very high would not only cut off a lifeline to unemployed workers and their families, it would also slow economic growth and cause the labor market to lose hundreds of thousands of jobs. Renewing federal unemployment benefits as part of the year-end budget measures would help the long-term unemployed and promote a stronger recovery.
Download the full fact sheet below.