Unemployment Benefits Boost U.S. Economy

As Republican lawmakers continue to discredit the positive effects of unemployment insurance benefits, a new report by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) shows unemployment insurance (UI) benefits have boosted the entire U.S. economy, while at the same time, saved millions of jobs.

The study shows that for every dollar spent on unemployment insurance, economic activity increases by $2. The study also shows that during each quarter of the recent recession, the UI income that unemployed workers spent on basic necessities kept an average of 1.6 million other Americans on the job. And at the height of the recession, the economic effect of unemployment benefits kept the unemployment rate approximately 1.2 percentage points lower.

“Unemployment insurance is one of the best investments we can make,” said DOL Secretary Hilda Solis, “not only for the millions of people that utilize UI benefits to provide for their families in a time of need, but for the millions more whose jobs are kept secure because of the stabilizing affect it has on our economy as a whole.”

Efforts to persuade Congress to extend unemployment insurance benefits, which are currently scheduled to expire November 30 th, are underway. Meanwhile, the futures of millions of Americans and their families hang in the balance. An estimated 1.2 million people are expected to lose their unemployment benefits each month if Congress fails to act.

Secretary Solis says it’s important Congress acts soon. “While the economy and the job market are on the road to recovery, the loss of consumer sales from removing billions of dollars in unemployment benefits will set us back,” says Solis. “Now is not the time to turn our backs on the families that rely on these benefits and the businesses that serve them.”

Take action today. Click here to tell Congress to extend unemployment benefits for the jobless.