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Unemployment up in 30 states, still no extended unemployment benefits

By staff

EUC stalled in Congress

Washington, DC – Unemployment rates ticked upwards in 30 states, according to an Aug. 18 report from the federal government’s U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Ohio, Maryland and South Carolina had the largest job losses. Mississippi has the country’s highest unemployment rate, at 8%. Meanwhile, Congress is in recess until September.

About 3 million workers have lost long-term jobless benefits since emergency unemployment insurance was allowed to lapse in late December 2013. At the time, Democratic leadership failed to insist on including extended unemployment compensation (EUC) in the budget compromise. That gave Republicans veto power over attempts in Congress to restore the program.

Early this year the Senate voted to bring back benefits for the long-term jobless, but the House leadership refused to allow the measure to come to the floor. Many conservative politicians blame jobless workers and unemployment insurance for the persistently high unemployment rates.

Commenting on the impasse in Congress, Steff Yorek of Freedom Road Socialist Organization states, “The fact members of Congress are at home campaigning – instead of addressing the real crisis that unemployed workers are facing – is a searing indictment of the politicians who serve the 1%.”

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