Extending unemployment benefits can hurt the unemployed

A strange thing happened when North Carolina slashed unemployment benefits. People got jobs. Unemployment fell to its lowest level in five years. 

Economists have observed this behavior for decades. The unemployed are most likely to find a job when their unemployment benefits are about to run out. 

Their new job may not be as good as they want but any job is better than staying unemployed. Someone who is unemployed for more than six months is at risk of never finding a job again. 

When “compassionate” politicians extend unemployment benefits beyond 26 weeks, the unintended consequence is often to condemn recipients to permanent unemployment.

1 thought on “Extending unemployment benefits can hurt the unemployed

  1. I lost my job a year ago. I am still unemployed and was barely living on $143/week (net) Unemployment Insurance with some food stamps. My slumlord decided to raise the rent. I told him I couldn’t afford it because I had lost my job, but I could pay half ($200). He took me to court and had me evicted. I had been renting a room in his townhouse for 3-1/2 years where he and his family lives. They all know what a decent clean woman I am, but he kicked me out on the street anyway. I had nowhere to go. No family to turn to. My so-called friends (that I’ve known for many years) turned their back on me and never offered me their couch to sleep on, including one woman who had been homeless many years ago with 2 small children! Apparently they’d rather see me risk my heath and safety by living on the street. For 5 weeks I slept on CTA buses and trains. I chose to do this instead of going to a homeless shelter where I would put up with addicts, psychos and BUGS; it was safer and cleaner on buses and trains. After the first week I developed edema due to the fact I was always either sitting or standing; never allowing for proper circulation. In the 4th week I started getting sick (flu/cold). Chicago is cold in November, etc. On 24 November an acquaintance took me into her home, a 3 bedroom apartment. I currently sleep in my own (warm!) room. Unfortunately, she plans to go out of town 25 January for the entire weekend and doesn’t want anyone in the apartment. I still have nowhere to go so I’ll be living on the streets again — literally; my monthly bus pass expires on the 24th. I can’t afford to buy another one.

    I am NOT a bum; I don’t even consume alcohol or drugs; don’t smoke, either!
    OF COURSE, I am looking for a job! Anything! But who will hire a 58 y.o. woman?
    I have also been going to agencies to find decent bug-free housing. There are thousands of people on the waiting lists. What little belongings I have left are in public storage. What happens if I can’t pay February’s rent? I lose all that, too? I can’t afford to replace the items, especially the irreplaceable sentimental items. Must I be further punished by not receiving extended Unemployment Benefits? I want to live. Just like you do. I want a decent job and to live in my own decent apartment. I still want to look forward to retirement.

    Do you get my point?

    Thank you.

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