An estimated 2.1 million workers are in danger of losing their unemployment insurance by the end of the year without congressional action.
A report from the Democratic staff of the House Ways and Means Committee provides a state-by-state breakdown of how many of the unemployed will lose their benefits. The report was released Monday by Ways and Means Committee ranking member Sander Levin, D-Mich., and Human Resources Subcommittee ranking member Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas. Levin and Doggett called for prompt action to prevent unemployment benefits from being cut off for more than 2 million Americans just a few days after Christmas.
“Congress must get to work immediately to address our unfinished business and avoid the fiscal cliff,” Levin said in a statement. “We cannot forget the human cliff looming for more than 2 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.”
The report includes an analysis of long-term unemployment, which remains near historic levels, with 5 million Americans jobless for six months or longer, along with a review of how unemployment insurance benefits both reduce poverty and promote economic growth and job creation, and an analysis showing that unemployment benefits have already been reduced by an average of 31 percent compared to one year ago.
“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,” said Doggett.