The American Taxpayer Relief Act, passed on January 1, 2013, included a one-year extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC). Depending on a state’s unemployment rate, EUC provides up to 47 weeks of federally-funded extended unemployment benefits. The program expired on December 28, 2013.
The expiration of federal unemployment insurance cut 1.3 million job seekers off an average weekly benefit of $300. Without an extension, another 72,000 Americans are estimated to lose their unemployment insurance every week on average during the first half of the year.
Economists agree that providing extended unemployment benefits is one of the most effective job creation strategies available during a period of high joblessness. Every dollar of unemployment compensation spent creates $1.52 in additional economic activity. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that extending the benefits for another year would save 200,000 jobs.
Ways and Means Democrats have called on Congress to extend the federal emergency unemployment insurance program through 2014. Congress must act soon so to restore these necessary benefits to unemployed workers and their families.
- Unemployment benefits (# of weeks) have dropped by more than a third in the last two years, according to CRS
- Economy still has 1 million fewer jobs than before Great Recession began
- 35% of unemployed have been out of work for more than six months
- Failure to extend UI would cost economy 200,000 jobs in 2014, according to CBO
- Around 4.9 million people will lose unemployment benefits by the end of 2014 without an extension
- State data: Numbers of unemployed Americans cut off of benefts through June, 2014
- State map: Where the 1.3 million Americans who lost their UI live
- County data: County-level breakdown of number of people who lost unemployment insurance Dec. 28
- Map: Local coverage around the country
- Map: Editorials from around the country
- Newspaper front pages: From around the country