Happenings Since Extended Unemployment Benefits Ended?

April 14, 2015  |  Education, Unemployment News

A few months back, the Senate failed to move forward on a three-month extension assisting the long-term unemployed.  The House is likely to follow suit and reject the extension as well, undercutting a major aspect of the President’s recovery plan. Now the Senate has come back with a revision to the unemployment extension bill and has sent the new version to the House for approval.

So what happened since this extension was originally cut off a few months ago? The House Ways and Means Committee provided a review after the extension ended in December. The committee found without the unemployment extension, the workforce participation rate increased, the total unemployment rate decreased, and the number of long-term unemployed workers was reduced.

According to the Ways and Means Committee, this historic unemployment benefits extension provided record amounts of financial assistance to more than 24 million long-term unemployed individuals.  The program provided record weeks of unemployment benefits per person (a total of up to 99 weeks of all unemployment benefits, nearly doubling the norm of 52 weeks.)  This extension had a record duration of 66 months, which was more than two years longer than the next longest such program in U.S. history.  The extension also caused record federal spending of more than $260 billion, most of which was added to the federal debt.

It is natural to think that spending on unemployment benefits creates jobs quickly. However, even with the record-setting benefit spending, this recovery is the slowest on record. So to continue the slow boost, you could very well see this extension brought back with more spending to follow.

If you have questions about this information or about how Matrix Unemployment Cost Management can help your company reduce its unemployment costs, please contact Ken Kruse at 513.351.1222 or via email