Today’s Unemployment Benefit Extension update EUC 2014 July 13, 2014:
Some policymakers on Capitol Hill believe that avoiding another unemployment benefit extension will help to push the unemployment rate lower and get more of America’s jobless back to work. The most recent monthly jobs data and unemployment claims report seems to support this assertion. Congress allowed unemployment benefits to expire back in December 2013 and has been debating the need for another extension since. Millions of Americans have fallen into the category of unemployed without benefits during this time, but the recent jobs and claims numbers were much improved. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate just fell lower again from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent. More specifically, the unemployment rate was 6.7 percent back in December when long term jobless compensation expired for many. Approximately 288,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy last month and the Labor Department said that fewer Americans filed for first time unemployment insurance in the latest week than were expected. Many Republicans view this data as ammunition to combat the argument for an extension of long term unemployment benefits. Since EUC expired back in December, the unemployment rate has dropped dramatically. This type of data trend is part of the reason the House did not vote yes on the Senate’s plan to extend unemployment benefits several months back and is also why many Republicans still position themselves against unemployment benefit extension legislation. Coincidence or not, the data is making it hard to find bipartisan and majority support on this issue.