Dems: Loss of extended UI benefits cost economy $3B in Jan., Feb.

Feb. 18, 2014 at 3:55 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- A report showed the U.S. economy will lose at least $3 billion in January and February because unemployment benefits expired, a group of House Democrats said.

More than 1.8 million Americans lost extended unemployment insurance since the benefit expired Dec. 28 because of Republican efforts in the House and Senate to block an extension of the program.

An analysis of state-by-state loss projections for January and February are based on the total federal unemployment insurance received in each state during the last two months of 2013, Ways and Means Democratic members said Tuesday in a release.

Nationwide, an average of 72,000 people lose unemployment insurance a week, adding to the 1.8 million Americans who already lost benefits.

The Democrats' analysis indicated California would lose $567.34 million in January and February because of the expired unemployment benefit benefit. Other states that would lose hundreds of millions of dollars for the first two months of 2014 include New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

"The loss of long-term unemployment benefits is weighing down our economy at a critical point in the economic recovery, threatening to inflict long-term damage," said Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich, the ranking Democrat on the committee. "Long-term unemployment remains an enormous challenge for millions of Americans and our overall economy, which is exactly why Republicans should join with Democrats to renew this important program."

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