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 …

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

    Republican my whole life……not any more.

  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.

  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

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