The Congressional negotiators have announced a deal for the budget- a bad deal. The proposal includes not extending the unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed. This is an outrage. Corporate agriculture gets bailed out, the banks get bailed out, but the unemployed get pushed aside.
The crisis was caused by finance capital. The unemployed should not have to pay for their crisis.
From The Coalition on Human Needs. Important issues.
Some are saying that since the unemployment rate went down in November, we don’t need any more federal unemployment insurance for those out of work more than six months.
But wait: long-term unemployment ROSE last month. In November, 37.3% of the jobless had been out of work for six months or more, up from 36.9% in September. The proportion of long-term unemployed is double the rate in 2007 (before the recession hit). (Source: Economic Policy Institute.)
Congress has never let long-term UI benefits expire unless the long-term jobless were no more than 1.3 percent of the labor force. Now, they are double that – 2.6 percent.
Denying this basic survival assistance to millions will hurt them badly and is simply wrong. But it also hurts everyone because it takes a massive whack at the economy. Estimates of the number of jobs lost in 2014 if federal unemployment benefits expire range from 240,000 (U.S. Council of Economic Advisors) to 314,000 (Economic Policy Institute).
Benefits have already been substantially cut. People are eligible for fewer weeks of aid, and sequestration reduced average benefits from $290 per week to $260 per week.
If you were out of work for more than six months, exhausting your savings, struggling to juggle bills and not lose your housing, wouldn’t you hope others would stand with you to prevent Congress from leaving without renewing Unemployment Insurance, your only lifeline until you can find a job?
Come on – stand with the unemployed and please make that call: 1-888-245-0215 (ask for your Rep, then for your Senators).
See an analysis of this months unemployment report at www.dsausa.org