WASHINGTON, April 9 (UPI) -- Republicans in the House cheered the March job numbers as proof the lapse in emergency unemployment benefits to the long-term jobless has actually helped more people get back to work.
In a blog post Wednesday, members of the the House Ways and Means Committee implied paying out emergency unemployment had actually slowed down the jobs recovery. Since the benefits expired in December, the blog post said, the employment market has improved, and the lapse in "all this record-setting benefit spending" is to be thanked.
The post touted 1.156 million newly employed since the start of 2014, an increase of 1.29 million in the labor force, a drop in the unemployment rate for high school graduates (down to 6.3 percent from 7.1 percent), the number of long-term unemployed (down to 3.739 million in March from 3.878 million in December) and a drop in the average number of weeks unemployed.
An extension of the EUC passed the Senate Monday, with six Republicans joining their Democrat colleagues to support the measure. No parallel legislation has so far been proposed in the House -- where Speaker John Boehner has indicated he has little interest in doing so -- but some Republicans have hinted they would consider a deal tying an extension to other Republican goals.