Two Million Workers to Lose Unemployment Insurance in December Without Action

Nov 13, 2012 Issues: Economy

Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) and Human Resources Subcommittee Ranking Member Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) today released a report prepared by the committee’s Democratic staff detailing the importance of continuing federal unemployment insurance. Reps. Levin and Doggett called for prompt action to prevent unemployment benefits from being cut off for more than two million Americans just a few days after Christmas.  

LEVIN: “Congress must get to work immediately to address our unfinished business and avoid the fiscal cliff. We cannot forget the human cliff looming for more than two million Americans scheduled to lose their economic lifeline during the upcoming holidays. Congress must act quickly to ensure that we do not abandon those workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.  Failing to act would push millions of middle class Americans into poverty and impede our economic recovery.” 

DOGGETT: “While our primary concern remains growing more jobs, we should provide reasonable assistance to those actively seeking work, yet still unable to secure a job.”

The new report, prepared by the Ways and Means Committee Democratic Staff, includes a variety of data highlighting the need to continue federal unemployment benefits, including:

  • State-by-state estimates of the over 2.1 million workers losing benefits in December if Congress fails to act.
  • An analysis of long-term unemployment, which remains near historic levels, with five million Americans jobless for six months or longer.
  • A review of how UI benefits both reduce poverty and promote economic growth and job creation.
  • An analysis showing that unemployment benefits have already been reduced by an average of 31% compared to one year ago.