Over 33K Missourians Without Long-Term Jobless Benefits
In December 2013, Congress denied the extension of long-term unemployment benefits. According to pewstates.org, an estimated two million long-term unemployed Americans have not been granted jobless benefits since these benefits were cut in December.
While federal cuts were made, Missouri still maintains a benefits policy of up to 20 weeks compared to the 40 weeks from the federal government. According to Pew, 33,587 unemployed of Missouri are going without the federal benefits that they normally would be receiving. This number is fairly average for the midwest.
Dr. David Yaskewich is an assistant professor of economics director for the center for economics and business research at Southeast Missouri State University. According to Yaskewich, the long-term unemployment benefit cut has a similar impact on Missouri as it does nationwide.
“When the benefit extension was reduced from 49 weeks to 20 weeks there was some impact on those receiving benefits and there would be some particular effect on consumption spending,” Yaskewich said. “But, thus far we really haven’t seen much of a big impact in terms of the local or state economy.”
The unemployed of Missouri who have been out of work longer than six months has reached nearly 40% this year. The benefits program cost the state nearly $300 million last year. The controversy is whether the money saved will be worth the cuts. Yaskewich said the first to be affected may be business owners.
“So in terms of the ripple effects, I would imagine those who own grocery stores or who apartment complexes, they’d probably be the most immediate ones hurt by this,” Yaskewich said. “The ripple effect would depend on to what extent does that multiply through the economy.”
Click here to read the Pew study online.