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Workers Hurt Not Helped
by the Extension of Unemployment Benefits

For Immediate Release. January 9, 2003At the request of President George W. Bush, both the Republican-controlled Senate and House of Representatives unfortunately passed the Unemployment Insurance Benefits Extension Act (S. 23) on January 7, 2003 and January 8, 2003, respectively. Immediately, after its passage in the House, President Bush signed the bill into law on January 8, 2003.

The measure provides about 2.5 million unemployed workers additional unemployment benefits for another five months. This action by Washington lawmakers will only continue to prolong the uncertain economic conditions affecting the United States (U.S.) economy and will also increase the unemployment rate.

When benefits are just about to stop workers are almost three times more successful in finding employment according to a study co-authored by Larry Katz, the chief economist at the Labor Department during the Clinton administration. Compared to those who are receiving unemployment insurance, workers not eligible for such benefits find employment more than twice as rapidly. Employment opportunities are available despite the six percent unemployment rate, and these workers during their temporary unemployment should at least be looking for temporary employment. By extending unemployment insurance benefits the unemployed are lured into complacency hampering their effort to become reemployment.

Dr. Joel P. Rutkowski, president of the American Voice Institute of Public Policy said, To avoid a politically-charged issue, Republicans avoided what is right and did what was politically expedient in the short- term. Such actions will only continue to prolong the current economic malaise as well as increase the unemployment rate.

The only thing that Republicans have accomplished by their compromise is giving the Democrats an issue when the economy does not turn around as rapidly as it should. Its the economy, stupid.

For Interviews Contact:

Joel P. Rutkowski, P.h.D.
President, The American Voice Institute Of Public Policy
757-436-5927
jrutkowski@americanvoiceinstitute.org

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