The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program was not extended under the House-Senate budget deal announced Tuesday, Dec. 10. This program provides unemployment benefits to those who have exhausted their state unemployment insurance.
Over one million people will receive their last check on Dec. 28, and approximately 850,000 people who would have become eligible within the first three months of 2014 will receive nothing. Over four million people are long-term uninsured (unemployed longer than six months), about a third of the total unemployed. This figure is higher than it was before or during the 2008-2009 recession.
The loss of unemployment benefits represents a direct blow to consumer spending and could have negative consequences in an economy where low demand is hampering recovery.