Unemployment Benefits – 2 Million in the U.S. Are Without Them

Unemployment BenefitsIt has been two months since the renewal of Extended Benefits Compensation (EUC) of the Department of Unemployment Insurance (DUI) failed to pass. The number of people affected was more than 1 million and now reaches close to twice that number. Those included in the count have been searching for work for 26 weeks or longer. There are still more who are discouraged and have stopped searching. Yet, since December 21, 2013, Congress has made very little progress on the issue.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report from January 2014 shows that while over 100,000 jobs were created, it is not nearly enough for the roughly 500,000 people who entered the workforce. The statistics are staggering: There are over 10 million people unemployed nationwide, over 3.5 million long-term unemployed, over 2.5 million who are not eligible for benefits although they are ready to work, and of those working, over 7 million can only find part-time, although they would like full-time employment.Unemployment Benefits

There is pressure for Republicans to acquiesce to demands, but so far they have continually chosen to not restore extended unemployment benefits. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has pushed twice in an effort to bring legislation to a vote, but Republicans have refused. At present, seven Republican senators are making an effort to change this, especially if they are centrists and they represent constituents in states with high levels of unemployment. Republicans have reported a plan underway to reinstate benefits retroactively for the past three months.

The effect on the economy is huge. Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee issued a report that the cost to the economy is $3 billion for 2014 alone. The repercussions of losing unemployment benefits for the U.S. economy are far-reaching and some of the factors, such as personal happiness and well-being, cannot be measured or monetized.

Not being able to pay one’s bills for long periods of time, despite wanting to do so, can certainly affect mood, leading to depression and other emotional issues. When job seekers are forced to make do with less, they have to make hard choices, such as the man whose internet was shut off because he couldn’t pay for it, and then questioned how he would apply for positions – by walking around and asking for paper applications? Another individual told that at the height of her career, she was making $41,000, but is now living in poverty, making do by living with and borrowing from relatives. Those who live in states with expanded Medicaid are fortunate to have healthcare coverage; others are less so. And, those close to retirement age have some of the greatest difficulty in finding a position comparable to the one they lost.

Last week a Gallup poll was released whereby 25 percent in the U.S. say that unemployment and lack of unemployment benefits are the number one problem in the country. On Wednesday Congress returns to session after a week’s recess. If no decision is made soon, another 72,000 people will lose their unemployment benefits the week of March 3, causing additional difficulties for the U.S. economy.

By Fern Remedi-Brown

Sources:
United Press International (UPI)
Paul Krugman: Why Inequality Matters, Economist’s View
PBS News Hour

17 Responses to "Unemployment Benefits – 2 Million in the U.S. Are Without Them"

  1. Cheryl   February 28, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    When Did Americans Become A Bad Investment? The Endless Nightmare To Extend Unemployment Benefits http://seekdivinetruth.com/1/post/2014/02/when-did-americans-become-a-bad-investment-the-endless-nightmare-to-extend-unemployment-benefits.html

    Reply
  2. dave   February 27, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Republican my whole life……not any more.

    Reply
  3. concerned mom   February 26, 2014 at 7:57 am

    I have a problem with everyone blaming republicans, I too am unemployed and have been now for a year, I have six kids that need help. I am taking side work as best I can to take care of us and ultimately God provides enough. The Republicans are not the only ones voting against this extension. Look at votes many are democrat its just the media is liberal and they generally will side with dems and blame it all on Republicans because it helps their cause believe me it benefits to dems to drag this out blaming Republicans the whole time because they want to win the election in 2016 and then the economy will get worse. I guarantee it. Don’t trust any of them, fire them ALL.

    Reply
  4. iris mintzer   February 25, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    HI I am a 53 year old woman who lost my job in JUne 2013, of no fault of my own.
    I am not lazy I have been looking on the internet all day, every day, job fairs etc.
    I have worked 3 jobs at once to raise my daughter at once.being a single mom.. One corporate job M-F and 2 jobs on the weekends…. 7 days a week. I am scared and hungry. I went for food stamps and got $15 a month really? I eat once a day only to save on the food. I am about to loose my cell internet and apt. I am about to be out in the cold… Thank god for friends and family.. We loose all this how will employers call us.? the Senatos that voted no should be in our shoes… they couldnt go 2 months with no funds.. How heartless and cruel, and inhuman. Some senators say we are lazy, and want to stay home, nonsense.
    I had to take out my 401K and now it is gone. I have worked since 17 years old. I want to make a living again, and feel self worth. We are all depressed and very frustrated.
    May god change your hardened hearts…. PRAY EVERYONE… Senators stop bickering and playing with our lives…… WE ARE SCARED. AND FEEL SO ALONE.

    Iris– Clifton NJ

    Reply
  5. Janie   February 25, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    If were were cut off in January and they approve reinstatement of ecu, will we be paid retro? And if we find a job next week will we be paid for the time we were unployed?

    Reply
  6. ken   February 25, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I have been a republican my whole life but that is going to change the nrext election. I wonder what they would do if they were the unemployed side.

    Reply
  7. mena   February 24, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Female mason. Its hard to get work period. Let alone a job I’m not even qualified for. I’m so desperate I applied for min wage jobs, and still jobless. Steady stretching chump change, much worse than streching an unemployment check. And don’t want either, for real!! I want a job!!!!

    Reply
  8. orin graves   February 24, 2014 at 9:30 am

    ive worked my whole life on top of serving my country for 9 years all during war time i cant beleive its not just citzens there kicking off euc its vets and current milatary personal its nothing short of gencide.sounds like something hitler would do starv 4 million of its own people whats next death camps.yes i compare usa to that of german history wake america think about it what did hitler do to his own people amoung outher nations the us is slowly taking away your constitional rights any how good luck to the 4 million people that lost benfits over the last 6 months yes us stats are wrong

    Reply
    • Dawn   February 24, 2014 at 10:26 am

      I agree Orin, that we are (and have been for quite some time) slowly losing our rights in this country. I can also attest to the unemployment issue. I worked for a company for 31 years, my job (and several other persons) was eliminated in 2012. I’m in my mid 50’s and still have not found a permanent job. I am beginning a temp job, thank God. My savings are depleted. I could def use these benefits before my utilities are cut off, along with internet, phone, etc. I will NEVER vote Republican again.

      Reply
  9. bob   February 24, 2014 at 9:04 am

    This 26 weeks of unemployment is such BS. I lost unemployment benefits the beginning of January and I started applying outside the professional field. I have been apply at local stores, warehouses, etc. just to get a pay check and I still am turned down. It sucks for the professional worker, because you are over-qualified for lower paying work..

    Reply
  10. Denise   February 24, 2014 at 7:44 am

    My whole problem with this situation is 26 weeks is such a short time to find a job to survive on.Why is it that the low lives on welfare do not have 26 weeks to find work?? We have worked and payed taxes and they sit and collect our money for doing nothing!!!

    Reply
    • bob   February 24, 2014 at 9:00 am

      I completely agree with you Denise! 26 weeks is complete BS along with the welfare

      Reply
  11. Katherine J. Jenkins   February 24, 2014 at 7:21 am

    When will the people we voted in office stop playing with American’s lives while they do their everyday “political” thing? My hope is that everyone that sits in those Washington offices feels the true pain of NO INCOME & NO JOB PROSPECTS….to work a whole lifetime and see everything you have worked hard just disappear in front of your eyes due to an economy where prices increase by the minute and jobs are no where to be found for everyone in need. Most people I know have felt the loss in many different ways, and life has changed for us all the way we knew thanks to those that think they are “big shots” up there on their thrones in Congress. How do these “big shots” truly live with themselves?

    Reply
  12. Joann   February 24, 2014 at 6:42 am

    I agree, I voted republican last year but it won’t happen again

    Reply
  13. Chad   February 24, 2014 at 1:21 am

    At one time I had a home, wife (28 years married), 3 children, and a full time job. I was indeed happy. At one time I was a proud registered republican as well. Since Dec. of 2013, I have no family, no job, nothing to eat, no place to sleep, a cell phone (that will expire in 7 days). Starving is very painful; I never thought I would see days like this. I have lost everything I worked for 25 years building. I know one thing for certain! I will never vote for republican ever again! Make no mistake, their actions have told us their true colors! Never! Again! The republicans are killing the American people. They forgot they are supposed to on our side. I will never make my mistake again and believe or vote for a republican!

    Reply
    • Matt   February 24, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      I too am in the same situation, I can fully feel the depression being so heavy in my life as I feel now! All I want as well is a job and be able to rebuild what little is left of my life.

      Reply
  14. Scott   February 23, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Extend the program for 3 months and workout the details during that time. The Republicans will be the minority in both chambers if they don’t give their priorities straight.

    Good luck

    Reply

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