1.3 Million Americans Set to Lose Unemployment Benefits
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

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According to reports, more than 1 million Americans are set to lose unemployment benefits Dec. 28, as extended federal unemployment benefits come to a halt this weekend. This could pose significant problems in the fallout as the U.S. continues to recover from the Great Recession. Congress let the “emergency” program expire as part of a budget deal.

For families dependent on cash assistance, the end of the federal government’s “emergency unemployment compensation” means participants will lose their average monthly stipend of $1,166.

Initiated under former President George W. Bush, the benefits were designed to help millions of U.S. citizens who lost their jobs in a recession and failed to find new ones while receiving state jobless benefits, which in most states expire after six months. Another 1.9 million people across the country are expected to exhaust their state benefits before the end of June.

This will have affects nationwide, and among the top, most populous—and expensive—states where jobless will be hit are California (some 214,000); New York (127,000); and New Jersey (90,000).

Unemployment rates could drop, but experts say the economy may suffer with less money for consumers to spend on necessities.

The Obama administration is urging Congress to extend benefits upon its return next month. “As the President has repeatedly made clear, it defies economic sense, precedent and our values to allow 1.3 million Americans fighting to find jobs to see their unemployment insurance abruptly cut off — especially in the middle of the holiday season,” said a statement Friday from Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council for President Obama.

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.

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