Advocates Fear Unemployment Extension
Expiration Could Leave Thousands High and Dry in PA
5, 2013- Tom Joseph
HARRISBURG. - On the heels of cuts to food stamps comes more potentially bad news for
Pennsylvanians finding it difficult to make ends meet. At the end of this
month, the federal emergency unemployment compensation program will expire
unless Congress passes an extension. The program kicked in during the
recession, and John Dodd, director of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project,
said many people across the state still need what it has to offer.
will mean that about 87,000 Pennsylvania residents who are out of work will
lose their federal extension and they'll be cut back from 63 weeks of total
benefits to 26 weeks on Dec. 28," Dodd said.
market gets less and less welcoming for people looking long-term for work, he
still three people unemployed for every job that's available," he noted,
"and we have a very, very difficult job market still, in the state of
Pennsylvania and all over the country."
who argue that extending unemployment benefits is too costly fail to recognize
that not doing so weakens the economy, Dodd pointed out.
time we pull more money out of people that are in the working class or the
middle class, you have less purchasing power and less economic activity, which
creates more unemployment," he said.
estimates are that 1.3 million people will lose their benefits immediately and
another 850,000 workers will exhaust their benefits in March.