IES Blog

The unemployment benefits debate rages on

Posted on December 21st, 2011 Read time: 1 minutes

There are 5.7 million Americans whose unemployment benefits will expire on January 1st, according to Staffing Talk, and people have mixed opinions over how an extension would affect job growth.

For example, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi believes extending unemployment benefits would add approximately 600,000 jobs to the economy, with dollars from benefits creating a "safety net" and thus, demand.

However, Chris Edwards of libertarian think tank The Cato Institute counters to U.S. News that the higher taxes needed to pay for an extension to unemployment benefits will cancel out any stimulating effects. This would also further reduce the incentive to work, which delays the urgency to "make tough career choices, switch industries or take lower pay."

Judi L. Cicatiello, director for the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance, explains to the Boston Globe that making sacrifices  – such as taking on a role as a temporary worker – may lead to a permanent position. However, it's the worker's job to check with the temp agency following a completed assignment to ensure all work is done, as reactivating unemployment claims too early could be grounds for disqualification.  

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