Congressman Eric Swalwell

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Rep. Swalwell Urges Immediate Extension of Federal Unemployment Insurance

Dec. 28 cut-off of emergency unemployment benefits leaves 214,800 people in California out in the cold

December 27, 2013

HAYWARD, CALIFORNIA – U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15) today urged an immediate extension of unemployment insurance to prevent 214,800 Californians from losing their benefits on Dec. 28. An additional 325,800 Californians will lose their benefits in the first six months of 2014 without any legislative action by Congress. Rep. Swalwell previously sent two letters calling on Speaker Boehner to allow the House of Representatives to consider an extension of this program. California’s unemployment rate remains above the national average at 8.9 percent.

“For too many Californians the failure of House Republican Leadership to allow a vote to extend unemployment benefits amounts to a lump of coal this Christmas,” said Rep. Swalwell. “The long-term unemployed are seeing their life-line cut off while they are already struggling to make ends meet. There are still 1.3 million fewer jobs than there were before the Great Recession, underscoring the importance of extending these benefits.”

The federal unemployment insurance program – formally called Emergency Unemployment Compensation – took effect in 2008 and has been reauthorized several times since as the economy continues its recovery. Despite the real progress the economy has made since the recession began in 2008, long-term unemployment as a percentage of the unemployed is 37 percent nationally. On average, nationwide, the program provides about $300 a week to recipients.

Failure to extend long-term unemployment insurance would also hurt job growth locally and throughout the nation. However, if emergency unemployment compensation is renewed, 46,441 jobs will be saved in California through the end of 2014.

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