The Department of Labor Secretary addressed the importance to extending long term unemployment benefits at this point in the recovery of the national economy. Read below:
Reaffirming the Importance of Long-Term Unemployment Benefits
In a Dec. 24 interview with the Baltimore Sun, and on a conference call three days later with two-dozen reporters from across the country, Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said “it would be literally unprecedented” if Congress fails to renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program that provides benefits to long-term jobless Americans. Perez said that Congress approved the program with broad bipartisan support in 2008, when the U.S. unemployment rate was 5.6 percent. The current unemployment rate is 7 percent. He added, “The hole that this Administration inherited in the Great Recession was a deep one. And when you’re in a hole, you stop digging. We must maintain these emergency benefits in order to continue climbing our way back to a fully healthy economy.” Perez also noted that when Congress reconvenes on Jan. 6, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will bring up legislation to extend unemployment insurance and move it toward a vote. “Congress can do the right thing in the new year and renew this program,” said Perez. “It will help people who want to be employed. It will help families keep going. It will help create economic growth for the nation.”
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