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Unemployment Benefits to Lapse as Congress Fails to Agree

Bloomberg (12/12/13) Jim Efstathiou Jr.; William Selway; Kathleen Hunter

A last-ditch effort by Democrats to extend unemployment benefits before the House adjourns on Dec. 13 was unsuccessful, meaning that 1.3 million people stand to lose their benefits when the program expires on Dec. 28. With the Congressional Budget Office estimating that an extension of jobless benefits would cost $26 billion over two years, Republicans refused to grant an extension without budget cuts elsewhere.

However, CBO also estimates that an extension would increase economic growth by 0.2% and add around 200,000 jobs. Ending the program would affect states differently, and states with the highest unemployment rates—such as Nevada, Michigan, and California—would be the hardest hit.