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Berkley Extension of Unemployment Benefits Helps Families at Holiday Time

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today praised swift enactment of legislation extending of unemployment benefits for Nevadans who are out of work. Berkley worked through her seat on the powerful Ways and Means committee to help spearhead the legislation which was signed into law by the President this morning.

"This vital package extends unemployment assistance for Americans who are out of work and still in search of jobs and it comes at a time when the need in the Las Vegas Valley has never been greater," said Berkley. "With unemployment in Nevada at record levels, and at a 16-year high nationwide, there is no question we need to continue providing these benefits to those who have qualified. These checks are a lifeline to families who would otherwise have no means to buy food or pay the rent and these are dollars that go right back into the community."

Economists calculate that every dollar distributed in unemployment benefits yields approximately $1.64 in economic impact as the money ripples through the economy and helps to sustain other jobs. The legislation would benefit 3.8 million unemployed Americans -- providing up to 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits in every state to workers who exhaust the 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits.

"There is no question about the overwhelming need for this assistance, and I am very pleased that it has now been enacted and that the result will be a financial helping hand for millions of Americans as our nation prepares to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday," said Berkley.

Specifically, the legislation would provide an additional 7 weeks of extended unemployment benefits in every state, plus another 13 weeks in states such as Nevada, where the unemployment rate has averaged six percent or higher over the most recent three months. The benefits provided by the legislation would be in addition to the 13 weeks of federally-funded extended unemployment benefits provided by Congress in June. The legislation is fully paid for with monies saved in the federal unemployment trust funds.

Unemployment Extension Package

* Amends the current Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program to provide another seven weeks of extended unemployment benefits in every state (bringing the total amount of potential extended benefits to 20 weeks).
* Provides an additional 13 weeks in high unemployment states defined as having a seasonally-adjusted, three-month average total unemployment rate of 6 percent (providing a total of up to 33 weeks of extended benefits).
* Provides $5.7 billion in extended unemployment benefits (CBO estimate)

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