Unemployment

Chad Stone Statement on March Jobs Report

"[March]’s solid jobs report shows a labor market that continues to improve gradually, but that remains far from healed.  With the share of the population with a job stuck at recession levels (see chart) and long-term unemployment still very high, it’s too soon for the Federal Reserve to begin raising interest rates — and it’s well past time for lawmakers to restore emergency federal unemployment insurance benefits that expired in December."

chart

Related:

Where Things Stand for the Unemployed

State-by-state numbers of workers losing benefits

Background

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.

By the Numbers

Number of People Kept Out of Poverty by Unemployment Insurance
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