In June, 44.4 percent of the unemployed had been that way for at least 27 weeks – historic territory we’ve been stuck in for a while now. If you’ve got 4.6 unemployed people for every job opening in the country, then you can’t rationally expect most of those unemployed people to find a job. You can, apparently, expect them to do without:
In Arizona, where there are 10 job seekers for every opening, 45,000 people could lose benefits by the end of the year, according to estimates from the state Department of Economic Security. Yet employers in the state have added just 4,000 jobs over the last 12 months.
Some other states will also feel a disproportionate loss of income unless hiring revives. In Florida, where nearly 476,000 people are collecting unemployment benefits, employers have added only 11,200 jobs in the last year. In Michigan, employers have added about 40,000 jobs since May 2010, but about 267,000 people are claiming jobless benefits.
A dollar in unemployment benefits churns up $2 for the economy. Take those benefits away, and you’ll hurt not just the 99ers – people who’ve hit the absolute limit of 99 weeks – but your overall economy. Moody’s Analytics calculates the end of benefits as draining $37 billion from the economy. That’s real money.