Today, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) released a report on the economic benefits of unemployment insurance. The report concluded that expanded unemployment benefits:
Added 1.15 million American jobs since 2007
Promoted spending by the jobless that increased hours worked for those who already have jobs
Resulted in a 1.7% boost in the nation's GDP
“If you want to get more spending in the economy, one of the best things you can do is give some money to an unemployed person,” says Larry Mishel, president of the liberal Economic Policy Institute. “You give them money, and they’re not paying down their debts, they’re not saving; they’re going to spend it.”
…In a report out Thursday, the Economic Policy Institute tallies up the economic benefits of jobless people spending their unemployment checks and concludes that expanded unemployment benefits, including health insurance subsidies, are responsible for adding 1.15 million jobs since 2007, partly offsetting the 8 million jobs lost since the recession began. The institute also says spending by the jobless has allowed thousands of other Americans to work more hours. Extending jobless benefits is “compassionate, but it’s also good economics,” Mishel says…
Speaker Pelosi on EPI’s report:
Today's report sends a clear message: unemployment benefits not only protect those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own; we now have clear evidence that the benefits have led to more jobs, higher wages, and a stronger economy. These investments put money in the hands of Americans who need it most and will spend it, injecting demand into the economy and generating business for local companies.
Democrats recognize the urgent need to do everything possible to keep our economy on the road to recovery. But Senate Republicans have blocked these job-creating benefits, denying help for 2.5 million workers and their families and the spin-off jobs for other Americans these benefits are proven to create. They apparently aren't worried about putting people back to work. Their objective is obstruction — and every day they refuse to act, they risk America's recovery. Congressional Republicans need to stop blaming hard-working Americans and work with Democrats to strengthen our economy and support our middle class.