"Today’s jobs report makes clear that, despite improvements this year, the labor market is still not strong enough for policymakers to let emergency federal unemployment insurance (UI) expire as scheduled during Christmas week. In particular, long-term unemployment remains much higher than when any of the emergency federal UI programs that policymakers enacted in each of the previous seven major recessions expired."
- Today’s Jobs Report in Pictures
- Chart Book: The Legacy of the Great Recession
- Key Things to Know About Unemployment Insurance
- Policy Basics: How Many Weeks of Unemployment Compensation Are Available?
- Policy Basics: Unemployment Insurance
Over a million unemployed Americans who have been looking for work for at least six months will receive no further federal jobless benefits after Christmas week if Congress does not renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, which expires at the end of the year. Many more who lost their jobs more recently or will lose them in coming months will get no additional help in 2014 beyond their regular state-funded jobless benefits.
The premature turn towards budget austerity since 2010 has been a drag on economic growth and job creation. Extending EUC would help offset that drag as well as reduce hardship among jobless workers and their families. In contrast, letting EUC expire would increase hardship and cost the economy jobs. Read more
December 6, 2013
December 6, 2013
Updated December 6, 2013
Revised December 5, 2013
Updated November 26, 2013
- View All By Date
The federal-state unemployment insurance (UI) system helps people who have lost their jobs by temporarily replacing part of their wages. Created in 1935, UI is a form of social insurance, with contributions being paid into the system on behalf of working people so that they have income support if they lose their jobs. UI also helps sustain consumer demand during economic downturns, by providing a continuing stream of dollars for families to spend.
The UI system includes an extended benefits program, which provides additional weeks of benefits to jobless workers in states where the unemployment situation has worsened dramatically. In addition, during and just after recessions, the federal government has historically provided funding for additional weeks of benefits in all states.