Subscribe

Extended Unemployment Benefits Didn’t Keep Unemployed From Taking Jobs

May 08, 2013 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Economic Development, Intersectionality, Poverty, Workers' Rights

From HuffPo:

Extended unemployment benefits Congress put in place at the outset of the Great Recession didn’t discourage people from taking jobs, according to new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Princeton University economics professor Henry Farber and San Francisco Fed economist Rob Valletta found that extended benefits might have encouraged people to continue to look for work longer so that they could remain eligible for benefits. While the longer searches for jobs could have boosted the unemployment rate by four-tenths of a percentage point, the compensation didn’t make the long-term jobless unwilling to work.

“It did not reduce the job finding rate,” Farber told HuffPost. He added the benefits probably helped the economy, however, not to mention the individual people who otherwise might have had no income. “These are people who spend the money you give them.”

The findings are similar to 2011 research by Jesse Rothstein of the University of California, Berkeley.

Two Million Americans Could Lose Unemployment Insurance In December If Congress Fails To Extend Program

November 15, 2012 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Economic Terrorism, Intersectionality, Poverty, Workers' Rights

From ThinkProgress:

The expanded federal unemployment insurance program that provides benefits to millions of long-term unemployed Americans is set to expire at the end of December. If Congress fails to extend it, roughly two million Americans could lose their monthly unemployment checks.

States provide unemployment insurance for the first 27 weeks after a worker loses his or her job; after that, the federal government has provided benefits under the Emergency
Unemployment Compensation program passed in 2008. There are currently five million Americans who have been out of work for longer than six months, and of those, virtually everyone who has been out of work since the end of July stands to lose their benefits at the end of the year.

Republicans have previously created fights over unemployment extensions, arguing that the program creates a culture of dependency and causes beneficiaries to stop looking for jobs. Despite those claims, the EUC program requires recipients to search for jobs while they receive benefits, and studies have shown that recipients of unemployment insurance look harder for jobs than those who don’t benefit from the program.

230,000 People Lose Unemployment Benefits Due to Republican-Backed Cuts

May 15, 2012 By: seeta Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Economic Terrorism, International Law, Poverty, Workers' Rights

From The Hill:

More than 230,000 unemployed workers will lose their jobless benefits this weekend as portions of federal programs expire across several states.

All told, 409,300 long-term unemployed Americans in 27 states will have lost upward of 20 weeks of federal unemployment benefits by this past Saturday, even as the many state jobless rates remain high, according to a new analysis by the National Employment Law Project (NELP).

The latest batch of cuts affects 236,300 unemployed people in eight states — California (11%), Texas (7%) Pennsylvania (7.5%), Florida (9%), Illinois (8.8%) North Carolina (9.7%) Colorado (7.8%) and Connecticut (7.7%) — half of which have jobless rates above the 8.1 percent national average posted in April.
“A growing number of long-term unemployed workers are being left behind,” said Christine Owens, executive director of the NELP.

“Job openings are not taking the place of these cuts,” Owens said.

Republicans have called the continuation of extended jobless benefits a drag on the economy, arguing that they discourage the unemployed from looking for work and they are adding to the federal budget deficit.

Can labor organize the unemployed?

February 22, 2012 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Economic Terrorism, Workers' Rights

From The Institute for Southern Studies:

Department of Labor figures for December showed 13.1 million unemployed and actively looking for work, almost half of them for more than six months. Another 8.1 million were working part-time involuntarily, and 2.5 million were too discouraged to look for work.

Jobs with Justice chapters have been experimenting with organizing the unemployed, but at a recent conference activists expressed frustration. The model of “unemployed” as an identity group (like race or sex) hasn’t worked, many said.

“How do you organize the unemployed when people don’t want to identify themselves as unemployed?” asked Susan Hurley, executive director of JwJ in Chicago.

Hurley said she tries to communicate that there’s no shame. “These are structural problems in our economy, it’s not about personal failings of anyone who’s out of work right now — 14 million people can’t be wrong,” she says. The group has set up an Unemployed Action Center, open one day a week with computer resources, action-planning meetings, and free lunches.

“The isolation and shame is really tough,” said laid-off Chicago electrician Carole Ramsden. “Especially union members, you have a lot of pride of working at your job, and all of a sudden you lose that.” When she was laid off three years ago, 2,000 members of her local were ahead of her on the list waiting for work.

See also: Black Male Employment in the Wake of the Great Recession

No Time to End Unemployment Benefits

December 01, 2011 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Economic Terrorism, Poverty, Workers' Rights

From Center for American Progress:

Unemployment insurance is the primary government mechanism providing financial assistance to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. These benefits are set to expire on December 31. If Congress does not address this problem by the end of December, 2.2 million unemployed workers will lose their benefits by February. In 22 states, more than 30,000 unemployed workers will lose benefits.