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January 15, 2014

2013 Federal Extended Unemployment Benefits were set to expire on December 28, 2013, affecting 18,000 San Diegans, 222,000 Californians and 1.3 million people nationwide.

Unemployed individuals are eligible for up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits; however, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program (initiated in 2008) extended the time, adding 47 weeks to obtain unemployment funds.

Now that the expiration date has passed and the Senate rejected two measures on Tuesday aimed at extending benefits, people will receive fewer benefits and less money will flow into the economy. However, workforce developers are hopeful that the negative impact will lessen now that the region’s unemployment rate decreased to 6.8%. 

In an effort to encourage Congress to extend Federal Unemployment Benefits, SDWP leaders Peter Callstrom and Mark Nanzer met with Congresswoman Susan Davis along with two San Diegans who have lost their benefits on January 13. Joy Dauda and Eugene Beronilla, two long-term unemployed individuals, shared with Congresswoman Davis their personal stories and how these benefits directly impact their future choices. Job seekers who are running out of benefits need to be able to make housing arrangements and other lifestyle choices while continuing to look for work.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that an extension would boost the economy by up to 0.3 percent by the end of 2014 and add up to 300,000 jobs. Not extending the benefits would remove that potential boost from the economy.  

For more news on the Federal Unemployment Benefits, the California Employment Development Department has been monitoring the situation in Washington, D.C. and continues to provide updates on its website.

Click here to view the KPBS coverage of the event with Congresswoman Susan Davis.

Source: Murphy, Susan. “18,000 San Diegans Stand to Lose Federal Unemployment Benefits By Year’s End.” KPBS, 12 December 2013.

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