MEDFORD, MA. –Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Malden) today voted in favor of extending unemployment benefits in Massachusetts and other states with an unemployment rate of 8.5% or higher.  H.R. 3548, The Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, would extend unemployment benefits by up to 13 weeks for over 300,000 jobless workers who reside in high unemployment states and who are projected

Rep. Markey said, “I am pleased to support an extension of unemployment benefits for jobless workers in states including Massachusetts that have been hit hard by the ongoing economic downturn.  Rising unemployment rates are a reminder that for many hardworking families, we are still in the midst of an economic crisis. Additional unemployment insurance will help to ensure that those who are unemployed can continue making their mortgage payments, buying groceries for their families and putting gas in their cars as they continue searching for a job.”


“In Massachusetts the unemployment rate has risen to 9.1%.  Extending unemployment benefits is just one more crucial step in providing immediate relief to struggling families and getting our economy moving in the right direction.” 


According to the Department of Labor, nearly 40,000 Massachusetts residents will exhaust their unemployment benefits by the end of this year.  The extension passed by the House today will provide immediate, effective stimulus to the local economy. The Congressional Budget Office has cited unemployment benefits as one of the most cost-effective forms of economic stimulus, and every dollar spent on unemployment benefits generates an estimated $1.63 in new demand, according to Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi. The extension is fully paid for, and strengthens reporting requirements to reduce unemployment insurance overpayments. 


#  #  #