Extension of Jobless Benefits

  • Extra jobless aid is cut in Mass., By Kaivan Mangouri, June 21, 2011, Boston Globe: “Thousands of Massachusetts residents will lose jobless benefits beginning next month as the state’s steadily declining unemployment rate disqualifies it for the extra federal assistance provided earlier in the recession. Unemployed workers will lose seven weeks of benefits under the rules of a federal program that extends eligibility based on state unemployment rates. Residents in states with rates above 8 percent are eligible to collect 20 weeks of additional benefits under this program; once the three-month average is below 8 percent, residents are eligible for 13 weeks…”
  • Economists debate impact of Arizona’s unemployment-aid cut, By Ronald J. Hansen, June 21, 2011, Arizona Republic: “Arizona could be turning itself into an economic laboratory of sorts by declining to extend unemployment benefits for those out of work for months. Last week, the Legislature did not enact a technical change needed to accept federal cash that would extend unemployment checks from 79 to 99 weeks for at least 15,000 Arizonans. Some lawmakers argued that the extension of benefits, worth up to $240 weekly in Arizona, is a disincentive to find another job. Others disagree, noting that the scarcity of jobs means many people will struggle to find work regardless of whether they receive an unemployment check, and some argue that jobless aid has other positive economic effects. Arizona’s lack of extended aid helps put the theories to the test…”
  • Extension of aid to jobless goes unused, By Jason Stein, June 20, 2011, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “More than 10,000 out-of-work Wisconsin residents are no longer receiving an estimated $89 million in federally funded jobless benefits because state officials have not acted to renew them. The change to state law would not touch the state’s struggling unemployment insurance trust fund and would provide 13 more weeks of benefits to workers who have been without employment for roughly a year and a half. The change in state law, which has tepid support from Gov. Scott Walker, could come before a state advisory panel Thursday. However, the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council has done nothing, despite knowing about the issue for months. The Legislature could have gone ahead on its own. It did pass in the state budget a cost-saving proposal to stop paying workers the first week of unemployment insurance benefits – a difference to both the state and the workers of tens of millions of dollars a year. But with some Republicans and business leaders wary that benefits are actually a disincentive to work, there’s been no action. As a result, the extended benefits ran out on April 16…”

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