Can pandemic unemployment benefits be extended in New York? Lawmakers should act quickly

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Will unemployment benefits be extended in New York? President Joe Biden last week urged some states facing a spate of COVID-19 delta cases to expand benefits. Advocates for states like New York have also called for an extension of unemployment benefits.

Improved benefits extend through September 6 as part of the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package passed and enacted earlier this year. Although some states withdrew from enhanced pandemic unemployment assistance payments, economists found that the program’s cut had little to do with getting people back to work.

In New York, a different problem exists. Maximum basic unemployment benefits hover around the same rate as a full-time job at minimum wage. This has prompted many business owners to consider offering more competitive compensation. In New York, the unemployment rate remains high, which has prompted some at the federal level to demand higher benefits.

The logic being that if unemployment benefits are extended, the economy will not suffer as much.

“Even as the economy continues to recover and job growth continues, there are states where it may make sense for the unemployed to continue to receive additional assistance for a longer period, leaving more time for residents of these states to find employment in areas where unemployment remains high ”, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last week.

If unemployment benefits were extended in New York, it could help nearly 400,000 New Yorkers.

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