Unemployment Insurance Must Be Extended for Struggling Workers
With 26 million U.S. workers unemployed or underemployed, and the long-term jobless rate the highest since 1981—hundreds of thousands of struggling workers need relief. The U.S. Senate is expected to take action next week on an extension of unemployment insurance (UI).
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says struggling workers will receive a much-needed boost from the UI extension—and workers whose UI has already run out will see it resume:
Our proposal from the outset has been simple: Let’s support those families who have been hardest hit by the recession. In the almost three weeks since Republicans first began to delay this measure, over 150,000 Americans have lost their unemployment benefits. Those Americans, and the thousands of others who will lose their benefits if we don’t act, need us to act now. It cannot be overstated how critical this assistance is to workers.
Unfortunately, it has been held up repeatedly by a handful of senators who have used procedural efforts to block a vote that would extend UI. If an extension isn’t passed quickly, more than a million people out of work could lose UI—and that means a hit to purchasing power that will further drag down our economy.
In September, the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed a UI extension that called for an additional 13 weeks of UI for jobless workers in high unemployment states (more than 8.5 percent) who have exhausted their benefits without finding new work.
Click here to tell the Senate it’s time to pass an extension of UI benefits.