Extension of unemployment benefits will stimulate local communities
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Bill Radke: Millions of unemployed people begin getting checks again this week. Congress’s decided to extend jobless benefits means that $34 billion will be coming to the long-term unemployed
through November. And economists say that is going to be felt in local communities. Here’s reporter April Dembosky.
April Dembosky: Congress had been wrangling over the extension of benefits for weeks. The Republicans wanted to protect the deficit, while Democrats pushed for stimulating consumer spending.
Economist Ralph Martire is with the bipartisan Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. He says that every dollar of unemployment benefits has the impact of $1.74 in the community. That’s because people spend the money rather than save it.
Ralph Martire: They’re desperate. They’re letting bills pile up. They got way too many immediate needs to cover just the cost of living to do anything other than spend that money and spend it immediately.
Hazel Feldman is an unemployed social worker. Shes been collecting unemployment benefits for almost two years. When her checks stopped coming last month, she was on the verge of applying for food stamps.
Hazel Feldman: I certified the whole month of July and received nothing. And if I call my account at the Chase bank, it’ll say, “Your balance is zero.”
What she wants even more than the extension is to find a new job.
I’m April Dembosky for Marketplace.
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