Friday, December 21, 2012

Unemployment Benefits Expiring Across the Country

Unemployment ExpiredThis post analyzes statements in the press about unemployment benefits finally expiring

Unemployment benefits, that congress extended 10 times in the past 4 years, have already begun expiring for people around the country. Prior to the recession, unemployment benefits provided income for 26 weeks. At the height of the recession Congress allowed people to receive a check for up to 99 weeks.

Reductions Already Kicking In Throughout the Country

News stories describe unemployment benefits ending in November, December, and January. Here are links to just a few of the stories:

Negative Consequences If Benefits Expire

Unemployment benefits both help out-of-work people and hurt them. On the one hand, they help people with no income to survive. As we heard in the election, 23 million people lost their jobs in the last 4 years. They worked to earn the benefit. Their employers paid into the program. The people needed money to live.

Ending the benefits may make things worse. The Huffington Post published

“The looming expiration of extended unemployment insurance will cost the U.S. nearly half a million jobs, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

A Wednesday report from the progressive D.C. think tank finds dropping the benefits would cost 400,000 jobs next year. That's because no benefits means no "multiplier effect" -- an economic boost from unemployed people spending their checks right away on necessities."

Negative Consequences If Benefits Extend

On the other hand, extending benefits allows people to put off looking for a job (even though hundreds of thousands dropped out of the job market last month). Every time the expiration deadline looms close, our office quadruples traffic of people who suddenly need to have a job because their unemployment benefits are going to expire. One article described how thousands of Californians found work almost immediately when they thought their benefits would expire.

Some unemployed people rely on unemployment checks and take a vacation to take care of the family or fix household problems.

Monday we discuss things you can do during the holidays to gain recognition at work

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