Jobless Aid Lost at Record Pace, Study Says

From Associated Press

More Americans ran out of unemployment benefits in July than during any other month in at least 40 years, a group that advocates programs for the poor said Thursday.

About 318,000 people exhausted their regular unemployment benefits in July and were unable to qualify for extended aid, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said in a study.

The study, which used Labor Department figures, was released just two weeks after President Bush essentially killed a measure that would have extended benefits to the nation’s long-term unemployed.


Bush signed the bill but, noting that Congress offered no new revenue to pay for the $5.2-billion package, used a provision in last year’s White House-Congress budget agreement to block its implementation.

Reiterating the Administration’s long-held position that the recession is ending, Bush said he did not want to bust the budget agreement.

The legislation would have extended the jobless benefits of about 1.6 million workers for up to another 20 weeks beyond the standard 26-week period of eligibility.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities study said the 318,000 people running out of benefits in July was the highest one-month total since the government first began tracking the statistics in 1951.

At the current pace, the study said, the number of Americans who run out of jobless benefits in 1991 will surpass the number of any year since the unemployment insurance program was established in the 1930s.