Unemployment Benefits Keeping Millions Out of Poverty

A new study by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows that in 2009 unemployment benefits played a critical role in keeping an estimated 3.3 million people from falling into poverty. Without the support of unemployment benefits, the 2009 poverty rate would have been 15.3 percent, rather than an already high 14.3 percent.

While a new poll shows strong public support for extending jobless benefits during a period of unusually high unemployment, the current political landscape is making that an uphill climb, as Republicans in Congress are uniting in opposition against an extension.

The Leadership Conference and its partners in the Half in Ten campaign are calling on Congress to pass an extension of unemployment benefits for up to at least one year.