NY Jobless Get Cold Shoulder In D.C.

Mar 31, 2004
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - As a result of a failure by the President and Congressional leadership to extend unemployment benefits for the nation’s jobless, over 50,000 unemployed individuals in the New York City area lost federal unemployment insurance benefits over the first 3 months of 2004 and near 30,000 more will exhaust their benefits over the next three months, according to a new report released today by New York Congressmembers Carolyn Maloney, Nita Lowey, Charles Rangel, and Edolphus Towns.

Maloney, Lowey, Rangel and Towns requested the report produced by the House Government Reform Committee’s Special Investigations Division, Minority Staff.

During economic recessions or periods of high unemployment, the federal government has historically extended unemployment benefits on a temporary basis to ensure that workers who are unable to find a job do not lose benefits. Even so, and despite of support for an extension from Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, the Bush administration has not pushed for an extension, and the Republican leaders in the House have actively opposed an extension.

The report uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Department of Labor in determining the following findings:

• 50,700 workers out of 326,600 unemployed in New York City lost unemployment benefits in the first three months of 2004

• 55,400 workers of 356,700 in the New York City metro area lost benefits in the first three months of 2004

• An additional 26,400 workers in New York City will lose unemployment benefits if the federal government fails to extend unemployment insurance program.

• An additional 28,900 workers in the New York City metro area will lose unemployment benefits if the federal government fails to extend unemployment insurance program.

Congresswoman Maloney said, “While President Bush and the Republican Congress are doing nothing to create jobs, they are also turning a cold shoulder on job loss victims of this economy by refusing to support an extension of unemployment benefits. The neglect of New York’s jobless is another example of failed leadership on the economy by this administration.”

Congresswoman Lowey said, “As the Republicans continue to brag about outsourcing jobs, America’s unemployed are struggling to find work and make ends meet. The great number of New Yorkers losing unemployment benefits while still looking for work is one more indicator of the Bush Administration’s failed economic policy. It’s time to boost our economy and help the unemployed by extending UI benefits and focusing on a strong job creation program.”

Congressman Rangel said, “The recent report by the Community Service Society revealing an unemployment rate of fifty one percent among Black males in New York City shows the depth of the unemployment crisis in some communities. The failure of the Bush administration to create jobs is the root cause of this crisis and the indifference it shows to the jobless by refusing to extend unemployment benefits is mean spirited and irresponsible.”

Congressman Towns said, “The administration has told us that this is a jobless recovery. I want to know how can you have an economic recovery without the creation of new jobs? This report highlights that not enough jobs are being created for unemployed people who want to return to work. Until then, we must extend unemployment benefits.”

Additional findings cited in the report include (updated for February 2004):

• Of the 641,800 unemployed workers in New York State, 310,500 are in New York City and 356,700 are in the New York City metro area.

• Statewide unemployment rate is 6.9%

• New York City unemployment rate is 8.5%

• New York City metro area unemployment rate is 8.2%

• National unemployment rate remained at 5.6 percent in February 2004, from its peak of 6.4% in June 2003.

• The failure of the Republicans in Congress and the Administration to extend benefits will result in the New York City area losing an economic stimulus of up to $472 million. The New York City metro area will lose up to $516 million in economic benefits.

The full report can be found at https://maloney.house.gov/sites/maloney.house.gov/files/documents/olddocs/033104NewYorkunemployment.pdf