Amplify our voice! Tell Congress to Reinstate EUC to the Long-Term Unemployed.

The latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that there are 3.4 million Americans who are long-term unemployed—those who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer—and the overall unemployment rate is at 6.3%.

UnemploymentIn December, 2013, Congress failed to renew federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and 1.3 million of the long-term unemployed abruptly lost their benefits. With each passing day that Congress fails to reinstate federal EUC, more and more people lose their federal benefits and states are unable to make up the difference.

Two million people had lost their benefits by early March and this number has only continued to climb. UCC advocates have repeatedly raised this issue and we must continue to call upon Congress to reinstate benefits until they do so.

The Senate passed a measure earlier this year which would have retroactively reinstated EUC since December and extended benefits through May. Appallingly, House leadership has refused to bring a similar measure to the floor, and even the Senate’s deal is now defunct.

Tell Congress to Reinstate Emergency Unemployment Compensation to the Long-Term Unemployed.

To receive EUC benefits, the unemployed must be looking for work—a particularly difficult and emotionally draining task. While the economy has improved, there continue to be more job seekers than job openings; fewer than two people will actually secure a job for every five people who are seeking employment. Furthermore, studies show employers are biased against hiring the long-term unemployed.

Our faith calls us to aid the vulnerable in their time of need. Deuteronomy 15:7-8 reminds us, “If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.” As people of faith, we are called to support the unemployed and particularly those who have been without work for over six months.

It is well beyond time for action. Tell Congress to renew Emergency Unemployment Compensation immediately!

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