Dear Member of Congress,
It is outrageous that governors in more than twenty states have made the decision to turn down the boosted $300/month in federal unemployment benefits and end the expanded federal unemployment insurance program that has been a lifeline for so many families during this pandemic.
At risk is the unemployment benefits of more than 3.5 million workers, costing the economy tens of billions of dollars!
As has been true throughout the pandemic, the people that will suffer most from this cruel action are children and moms, especially moms of color. This pandemic has been rough on moms—in the past year, 32% of women aged 25-34 were pushed out of the labor force due to a lack of childcare, proving how essential a strong care infrastructure is to the U.S. job market. The reality is many women and moms cannot return yet to work because they still have to attend to their caretaking responsibilities at home. On top of that, good, safe jobs (with benefits) are not available in many places and there is still a significant amount of the population that has yet to get vaccinated or reach full immunity.
In fact, in the latest data on job openings, there were nearly 40% more unemployed workers than job openings overall, and more than 80% more unemployed workers than job openings in the leisure and hospitality sector. A $300/month bump in unemployment benefits isn’t to blame for people not returning to work—and taking it away will only serve to harm struggling families and our economy.
This is why we are calling on Congress to pass immediate UI reform to increase the levels of state UI benefits, guarantee extended benefits for the long-term unemployed, and save unemployment benefits for those workers and families that are still struggling in this rough economy. We are counting on you to do the right thing!