Time is running out for additional federal unemployment aid, and it may be running out sooner than expected. In February, Congress passed extended unemployment benefits through the end of this year, but it also made the help difficult to hang on to. As a result, people in 23 states have lost up to five months worth of benefits, and next month aid will end early for 70,000 more. On top of this, several states have made it harder to obtain help during the first few months of unemployment. In September, extended benefits will end in the last three states to provide the full 99 weeks of assistance (Nevada, New Jersey, and Rhode Island).
Should the federal government step in and extend benefits further? Should the fact that the unemployment situation isn’t deteriorating mean that it’s time for that aid to end?
Maurice Emsellem, policy co-director at the California office of the National Employment Law Project
Michael Bernick, former director of the California State Employment Development Department; fellow with the Milken Institute; author "We are all temps now"
Melanie Holmes, vice president, World of Work Solutions, ManpowerGroup, the world’s second largest provider of temporary workers