The Unemployment Rate is Already High Enough to Warrant Extended Benefits: Past Is Poor Guide to When the Time Is Right

Publication Date: June 2008

Publisher: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Chad Stone; Martha Coven

Research Area: Labor

Keywords: Job displacement; Recession; Household income; Wage earnings

Type: Report


On June 6, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the unemployment rate had risen sharply, to 5.5 percent. Legislation is moving on Capitol Hill to provide additional weeks of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to people whose regular benefits run out before they can find a new job. (The House passed such legislation June 12.) That is how the federal government generally responds when the job market weakens substantially. Yet the Administration has continued to oppose such a benefit extension.