Insurance Extensions andReforms in the American Jobs Act
The United States is recovering from the deepest recession since the Great Depression, butthere are still more than 13 million Americans unemployed and almost 6 million of them havebeen unemployed for more than 26 weeks. There remains a critical need for policies that willcreate faster economic and job growth and support those struggling to find a job. To meet thischallenge and put Americans back to work, in September President Obama proposed theAmerican Jobs Act to Congress.Importantly, the American Jobs Act includes a one-year extension of Federal unemploymentbenefits and reforms to our unemployment compensation system that will increase flexibility forstates and speed reemployment for the unemployed.As this report details, two Federally-funded unemployment benefit programs
EmergencyUnemployment Compensation (EUC) and Extended Benefits (EB)
have been essential formillions of Americans. If Congress fails to extend them, the current programs will expire inJanuary and millions will lose access to benefits. Combined with the Unemployment Insurancereform proposals in the American Jobs Act, the extension of EUC and EB provisions will provideimportant support for those who are suffering due to economic conditions, help them return towork sooner, and increase economic growth and job creation.
Failing to Extend Unemployment Insurance Benefits Will Lead Millions of Workers to
Lose their Benefits and Harm the Fragile Recovery:EUC and EB have been essential for millions of Americans during the recession.
17.9 million Americans have received EUC and EB benefits since the inception of theEUC program in 2008.Including other household members, more than 50 million people have benefited fromEUC and EB, including almost 13 million children.UI benefits help people across the income spectrum: Nearly half of households thatreceived UI benefits in 2010 but not in 2009 had household income between $25,000and $80,000 in the year before
experiencing the loss of a household member’s job
Without an extension, millions of people will no longer have access to unemployment
benefits beyond 26 weeks.
By the end of 2012, an additional 5 million people will exhaust their benefits.About 1.3 million of these people will lose their benefits by the end of January 2012.
Without an extension, economic growth will be slower.
The Council of Economic Advisers estimates that, if EUC and EB are not extended,the economy can be expected to generate 478,000 fewer jobs by the end of 2014, anestimate that is consistent with projections by the Congressional Budget Office.