The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is a federally-funded program that provides unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to the millions of Americans who lost their jobs in the Great Recession and who have exhausted or no longer qualify for unemployment benefits through existing state programs. With the anemic pace of job growth since the recession’s end, millions of unemployed Americans are still relying on these benefits to support themselves and their families. As the country is painfully aware, the job market is not recovering quickly enough to put these people back into jobs, and the EUC program is set to expire at the end of this year.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, extending UI benefits through 2012 would cost about $45 billion. But as EPI’s Larry Mishel and Heidi Shierholz explain, this $45 billion in federal spending would translate into an additional $72 billion in U.S. economic activity, or a 0.5 percent increase in GDP, due to standard economic “multiplier” effects and the fact that the long-term unemployed—often the most desperate for resources to meet their basic needs—are apt to immediately spend any benefits received.
From a jobs standpoint, this additional $72 billion in economic activity will save or create about 560,000 jobs across the country. How would your state be affected? The table below estimates the share of these 560,000 jobs saved or created in each state based upon the size of the state’s economy and its share of previous federal EUC spending. Not surprisingly, California has the most at stake – about 80,000 jobs. New York, Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania will each save over 27,000 jobs.
One other way to look at these jobs numbers is as a share of each state’s payroll employment to control for the differences in the size of each state’s workforce. As the highlighted cells show, New Jersey, Connecticut, Nevada, Colorado, and Massachusetts will see the largest job loss as a proportion of state payroll employment if the EUC program is not extended.