Around 14 million people in the U.S. are jobless today. Yet, several states — even some that are experiencing economic recoveries — have begun to cut jobless benefits, according to recent data obtained by 24/7 Wall St. This is another example that the unemployment problem has become more insidious. Federal and state governments use two milestones — 26 weeks and 99 weeks — to determine unemployment insurance payments and when they are terminated. The number of people out of work for each of these time periods, or longer, grows.
States with the highest unemployment also tend to have the most financial trouble themselves. This is due to low tax receipts caused in large part by the high unemployment level. People out of work pay little or no taxes. But financial desperation is only one reason for states to decrease jobless benefits. A second group of states, some of which have begun strong recoveries, has also begun cutbacks. Governors and legislators of these states want to decrease budget deficits both by taking advantages of improved economic positions and through austerity programs for state costs.
24/7 Wall St. examined how the relationship between employment insurance and state finances has begun to change from the ways they operated in the early part of the recession until 2011. We reviewed the just released report on state unemployment law by the National Employment Law Project. The report identifies the states that are reducing their unemployment insurance coverage. The nine that are reducing benefits this year did so by either cutting the number of eligibility weeks or by reducing the payment amount.
More From 24/7 Wall St: States Where People Pay The Most (And Least) In Taxes 10 Signs The Double Dip Recession Has Begun 9 Foods The Government Is Paying For You To Eat The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.