Emergency Jobless Aid

April 16, 1958

Report Outline
Plan to Prolong Payments to Jobless
Adequacy of Jobless Benefit System
Issues in Debate on Aid to Unemployed

Plan to Prolong Payments to Jobless

Moiunting Demand for Extension of Benifit

The current business recession may put the federal-state system of unemployment insurance to the most severe test since it was initiated under the Social Security Act of 1935. Unemployment today has not reached the high levels prevailing before World War II, nor has the number of insured workers who have exhausted their unemployment benefits mounted to prewar totals. However, a larger proportion of the labor force is now idle than in the postwar recessions of 1949 and 1954, and the number of workers who can no longer draw benefits is approaching the totals in those years. Today, moreover, many more workers are covered by the unemployment insurance system than was the case before the war. Affecting more people, more is expected of jobless compensation as a means of tiding the unemployed, and the country, over bad times.

How hard the system will be pressed naturally depends on how long the recession lasts and how deep it goes. Unemployment rose from mid-February to mid-March by only 25,000 to a total of 5,198,000. But the number of unemployed usually declines slightly in March. Hence the seasonally adjusted rate of unemployment rose from 6.7 per cent of the labor force in February to 7 per cent in March. The fact that the number of persons out of work for 15 weeks or longer rose by 300,000 to a postwar record of 1,446,000 was particularly disturbing.

Figures on unemployment and employment cover so wide a field that they usually can be interpreted in various ways. Whatever the true significance of the latest statistics, they are not sufficiently encouraging to quiet demands for legislation to increase the amount of benefits paid to persons out of work who are eligible for unemployment compensation and to extend the period in which benefits will be paid.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Mar. 18, 2016  The Gig Economy
Mar. 06, 2012  Youth Unemployment
Jul. 31, 2009  Straining the Safety Net
Apr. 10, 2009  Business Bankruptcy
Mar. 13, 2009  Vanishing Jobs
Apr. 25, 2003  Unemployment Benefits
Jan. 21, 1994  Worker Retraining
Sep. 09, 1988  Help Wanted: Why Jobs Are Hard to Fill
Mar. 18, 1983  The Youth Unemployment Puzzle
Dec. 24, 1982  Federal Jobs Programs
May 28, 1982  America's Employment Outlook
Jun. 27, 1980  Unemployment Compensation
Oct. 14, 1977  Youth Unemployment
Jul. 11, 1975  Underemployment in America
Dec. 16, 1970  Unemployment in Recessions
Mar. 05, 1965  Unemployment Benefits in Times of Prosperity
Apr. 03, 1964  Overtime Pay Rates and Unemployment
Feb. 01, 1961  Unemployment and New Jobs
Jan. 07, 1959  Lag in Employment
Apr. 16, 1958  Emergency Jobless Aid
May 16, 1956  Lay-Off Pay Plans
Nov. 12, 1953  Jobless Compensation in Boom and Recession
Feb. 25, 1949  Defenses Against Unemployment
Jul. 30, 1945  Full Employment
Nov. 25, 1940  Unemployment Compensation
Jul. 10, 1939  Problem of the Migrant Unemployed
May 19, 1936  Unemployment and Recovery
Sep. 02, 1931  Public Employment Exchanges
Aug. 19, 1929  The Stabilization of Employment
Feb. 21, 1928  The Employment Situation in the United States
Jan. 23, 1926  Unemployment Insurance in the United States
Unemployment and Employment Programs