The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program will end on 12/28/2013 and this may eventually affect millions of Americans throughout 2014.
The new budget deal for 2014 was just passed and the President will sign off on it. Unfortunately for the unemployed, there was no further extension to the already extended unemployment benefits package. That means if you are already getting extended benefits, you will no longer get them in 2014.
The map below shows how many weeks people have been getting in each state and that will last through the end of the year. You can see that most states are giving between 40 and 60 weeks of unemployment benefits.
At the beginning of 2014, the new budget deal will NOT allow any extended benefits at all. Anyone who is on unemployment will only get it for 26 weeks (less in a handful of states) and will NOT get any extension. See the map below that shows the number of weeks given for benefits to people in each state starting in 2014:
It is estimated that there could be as many as 2 to 4 million people that will lose their unemployment benefits in 2014 as they pass the 26 week mark. Many of those people will stop looking for work and drop out of the system, no longer being counted as “unemployed”. As a result this could lower the unemployment rate and make the economy look like it is improving when it fact it really isn’t.
Some employers don’t bother ever looking at resumes from people who have been out of work for 26 weeks and up. They figure those people are not serious about getting a job and there are plenty of people to choose from that have been unemployed for a much shorter time.
There is hope though for the nations long terms unemployed as Congress could return in 2014 and decide to pass a bill specifically relating to extended benefits. Any such bill might be retroactive and eventually pay for the weeks missed but people will go without checks for the first couple of weeks for sure next year.