Philadelphia PA- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called for an extension of unemployment insurance. Senator Casey was joined by Philadelphians who are set to see their benefits expire at the end of this month to push for the extension. The Senate is set to take a vote in early January yet the House of Representatives still hasn’t scheduled a vote. Casey called on both Houses to vote on and pass an extension of unemployment benefits that will boost the economy and aid those looking for work.
“Extending unemployment insurance will help those looking for work and produce growth in the economy,” Senator Casey said. “The pace of job growth has increased in the last few months but there are still far too many Pennsylvanians looking for work. Extending unemployment insurance will help those actively seeking work and provide a jolt to GDP as we move into the new year. I’m pleased the Senate is set to vote on this issue soon and I’m calling on both Houses of Congress to take up and pass this legislation.”
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has found that extending unemployment insurance will increase GDP while helping Americans find work. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) recently released a report detailing the economic impact of failing to continue UI through 2014. The EPI analysis found that 310,000 jobs and $37.8 billion of economic activity would be lost if UI expires.
The federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program was first enacted in June 2008, when the national unemployment rate stood at 5.6 percent. The EUC program is scheduled to expire at the end of 2013, with the last payable week ending on December 28th. After changes made to the EUC program in early 2012, there is no longer any phase-out for the program, so that every individual now receiving these benefits will lose them during the same week.
The Department of Labor estimates that the expiration of the EUC program would cut off unemployment benefits to approximately 1.3 million jobless Americans on December 28th. The percentage of jobless Americans who have been unemployed for longer than 6 months remains close to historic levels. About 37 percent of the unemployed, or over 4 million people, are now long-term unemployed.