Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why emergency unemployment insurance benefits remain critical for the economy

We released an action alert Tuesday asking people to call Congress and ask representatives to set the right priorities for economic recovery, including maintenance of emergency unemployment insurance benefits.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a paper Nov. 10 laying out much of the policy basis for that position. A quote from the paper, by Chad Stone and Hanna Shaw.

"Congress has provided emergency UI benefits in every major recession since the 1950s and has kept that emergency program in place until the economy was back on track and job prospects were improving. In all previous cases, the unemployment rate was 7.2 percent or lower when the program expired. It is 9.6 percent now and showing no signs of coming down quickly. Continuing the program for another year will provide substantial benefits to both unemployed workers and the economy — and it will do so without endangering efforts to achieve longer-term fiscal balance."

If the emergency benefits expire as scheduled Nov. 30, an estimated 41,000 Colorado workers would be affected just during December, according to the paper.

Check out the action alert, and then follow through by calling Congress to argue for a responsible approach to our continued economic turmoil.

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