FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2011
AARP ‘Deeply Disappointed’ by House Committee Vote to Enable States to Eliminate Unemployment Benefits
Older Workers Face Over a Year of Unemployment on Average
Washington, DC – AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond offered the following statement today expressing disappointment with a House Ways and Means Committee vote on a bill (HR 1745) that could eliminate funds to assist millions of Americans facing long periods of unemployment.
“AARP is deeply disappointed that the House Ways and Means Committee voted today to approve a bill that could lead to the loss of unemployment insurance benefits, especially for the long-term unemployed.
“AARP has repeatedly supported the extension of unemployment benefits to assist millions of workers struggling to find a job under difficult economic circumstances, and this bill could hurt those workers who have been looking for a job the longest, and allow states to use the “savings” to cut unemployment insurance taxes for employers and for related purposes other than paying benefits.
“Loss of the extended benefits program for long-term unemployment would hit older workers especially hard, since the average number of weeks that older job-seekers are unemployed just reached a staggering 53.6 weeks in April. Joblessness that now lasts, on average, over a year is especially difficult for older persons also facing rising health care costs, shrinking pensions, and falling home values.
“AARP will continue to support needed long-term unemployment benefits for jobless Americans and their families.”
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.