If EUC is not renewed by Dec. 28, when the program expires, 1.3 million long-term unemployed Americans will lose their average $269 a week from the government. And in 2014, another 3.6 million Americans who would have become eligible for EUC will not receive its benefits.
As Sarah Ayres points out:
This is because unemployment benefits are not just good for workers; they are also good for the economy. By putting money into the pockets of people who will spend it, unemployment benefits boost demand, spur economic growth, and create jobs. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has found that unemployment benefits are one of the most effective fiscal policies to increase economic growth and employment. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, has found that every $1 spent on unemployment insurance grows the economy by $1.55. All these dollars circulating through the economy create jobs. According to an Economic Policy Institute analysis, extending emergency unemployment benefits would create 310,000 additional jobs in 2014.Nine out of the 11 times the EUC has been renewed since it was first enacted in June 2008, Republican lawmakers have resisted. Their essential argument: unemployment compensation makes people lazy. In other words, with just one job opening available for every three job seekers, Republicans say Get a Job!
Meanwhile, the Council of Economic Advisers and Department of Labor have published a new report, The Economic Benefits of Extending Unemployment Benefits. Among its findings:
• Including workers’ families, nearly 69 million people have been supported by extended UI benefits, including almost 17 million childrenThe official unemployment rate of 7.3 percent is higher now than it has been at any time in past recessions when extended unemployment compensation has been removed.
• In 2012 alone, UI benefits lifted an estimated 2.5 million people out of poverty [...]
• Failing to extend UI benefits would put a dent in job-seekers’ incomes, reducing demand and costing 240,000 jobs in 2014.
• Estimates from the Congressional Budget Office and JP Morgan suggest that without an
extension of EUC GDP will be .2 to .4 percentage points lower.
• In 2011, CBO found that aid to the unemployed is among the policies with “the largest
effects on output and employment per dollar of budgetary cost”