There’s a push for unemployment reform in Democrats’ $3.5 trillion package

Worker advocates and lawmakers are pushing for permanent reforms to the country’s system of unemployment benefits, as part of a $3.5 trillion legislative package Democrats are drafting to expand the U.S. safety net. Those efforts got a shot in the arm on Monday, when three Democratic Senators introduced legislation to make benefits available to more… Continue reading There’s a push for unemployment reform in Democrats’ $3.5 trillion package

4 steps to take now that pandemic unemployment insurance programs have expired

Millions of Americans and their families will see a significant drop in their unemployment benefits, or lose them altogether, now that three key pandemic relief programs for the jobless have expired. Moving forward, 5.1 million people supported by Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (for freelancers, gig workers and caregivers), and 3.8 million people drawing from Pandemic Emergency… Continue reading 4 steps to take now that pandemic unemployment insurance programs have expired

Federal unemployment benefits end this weekend for millions of Americans. Many are scared of what comes next

Misty Todd has used unemployment benefits to pay bills since losing her convenience-store job in March last year. But the 37-year-old Las Vegas resident is unsure how she’ll afford rent, groceries and essentials for her two-month-old daughter after this weekend, when federal unemployment assistance will end for millions of Americans. Her partner, Varick Jones, 42,… Continue reading Federal unemployment benefits end this weekend for millions of Americans. Many are scared of what comes next

Black unemployment rises in August jobs report despite more job seekers

The miss on the headline jobs numbers was disappointing enough, but the August 2021 jobs report showed that Black workers are facing an even bigger struggle to find employment compared with job seekers of other races. Employers only added 235,000 payrolls last month, far fewer than the 720,000 expected. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.2%… Continue reading Black unemployment rises in August jobs report despite more job seekers

Jobless claims total 340,000, the lowest level since March 2020

Initial filings for unemployment insurance fell last week to their lowest levels since March 2020 in another sign that the labor market is gradually improving from the Covid-19 era, the Labor Department reported Thursday. First-time jobless claims totaled 340,000 for the week ended August 28, compared with the 345,000 Dow Jones estimate. That is the… Continue reading Jobless claims total 340,000, the lowest level since March 2020

Millions of Americans will lose unemployment benefits this weekend

Millions of people are poised to lose their unemployment benefits this weekend, when federal pandemic-era policies will end after almost 18 months. Congress authorized a historic expansion of the country’s safety net for jobless individuals in March 2020 to manage the fallout of the Covid-fueled economic downturn. Lawmakers twice extended those temporary expansions, which increased… Continue reading Millions of Americans will lose unemployment benefits this weekend

Ending unemployment benefits had little impact on jobs and fueled $2 billion spending cut, study finds

States that withdrew early from federal unemployment programs pushed few people back to work and fueled a nearly $2 billion cut in household spending, potentially hurting their local economies, according to new research. Twenty-six state governors — all Republican, except one — opted out of the pandemic-era programs several weeks before their official expiration on… Continue reading Ending unemployment benefits had little impact on jobs and fueled $2 billion spending cut, study finds

States can pay unemployment benefits past Sept. 6 using pandemic funds, Labor and Treasury officials say

States can pay benefits to the unemployed past a looming Sept. 6 expiration date using pandemic funds that Congress previously allocated to state and local governments, Labor and Treasury Department officials said Thursday. The American Rescue Plan, passed in March, extended pandemic-era unemployment benefits to Labor Day. More than 11 million jobless workers are poised… Continue reading States can pay unemployment benefits past Sept. 6 using pandemic funds, Labor and Treasury officials say

Unemployment rate falls for every group but is higher for Black and Hispanic workers

The unemployment fell to 5.4% as the economy added 943,000 jobs in July, with strong gains across demographic groups despite persistent inequalities in the labor market. Black and Hispanic unemployment dropped to 8.2% and 6.6% respectively, but the figures are high compared with the jobless rate for whites and Asians. Joblessness for whites was the… Continue reading Unemployment rate falls for every group but is higher for Black and Hispanic workers

States cutting unemployment benefits didn’t get people back to work, study finds

State withdrawals from pandemic-era unemployment programs aren’t speeding up the job recovery, according to a new analysis. Twenty-five states have ended their participation in at least some of the programs since mid-June. Louisiana, will do so July 31. Those measures offered aid to the long-term unemployed, gig and other workers ineligible for traditional state benefits… Continue reading States cutting unemployment benefits didn’t get people back to work, study finds