With more than 5,000 Rockland and Westchester county residents scheduled to run out of federal unemployment benefits Dec. 29, U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Harrison, is calling on Congress to make retroactive extension of jobless aid its first order of business upon returning to Washington after the holidays. House GOP leaders adjourned for the year without extending federal unemployment insurance benefits, according to Lowey, the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.
Federal unemployment insurance took effect in 2008 and has been reauthorized several times since then. The funding runs out for most of the country Dec. 28, and the following day for people who receive benefits in New York. Statewide, 127,100 people will lose their benefits Dec. 27. That includes 4,056 in Westchester and 1,092 in Rockland. An additional 132,800 people are scheduled to run out of extended benefits in the first half of 2014, the congresswoman said.
“As the holiday season approaches, the financial stakes could not be higher for Lower Hudson Valley families, Lowey, who met with job seekers and labor leaders from the Lower Hudson Valley, said in a statement today. “The failure of Congress to act threatens to push many of our neighbors over a frightening financial cliff and hurt our economy. To strengthen these families and our economy, Congress must retroactively extend these essential benefits as the first order of business when it returns in 2014.”
Across the country, more than 1.3 million people are scheduled to run out of federal jobless aid at the end of the month. A report released this week by the Committee on Ways and Means Democrats found that the United States will lose 240,000 jobs in 2014 unless Congress retroactively extends federal unemployment benefits.
The unemployment rate in New York is 7.6 percent.
“It is a disgrace that millions of Americans and more than 100,000 New Yorkers, those who continue to suffer long term unemployment, will no longer be able to sustain themselves and their families because the US Congress has failed to extend the Federal Unemployment Insurance,” Paul Ryan, president of the Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body, said in a statement. “An unemployment insurance extension would provide needed relief for New York families, allow them to have some dignity and also provide a bridge until they can return to steady employment. Congress must pass an extension to the federal unemployment insurance now.”
These are some additional statistics on New York in the report: