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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Geithner: Administration Looking at Further Extensions for Unemployment Benefits

by Calculated Risk on 8/02/2009 08:54:00 AM

Note: According to a recent report, workers are starting to exhaust the extended unemployment benefits. The National Employment Law Project estimates 0.5 million workers will have exhausted their extended benefits by the end of September, and close to 1.5 million by the end of 2009. Unless the unemployment rate starts to decline, the numbers will continue to grow rapidly in 2010.

Treasury Secretary Geithner was on This Week with George Stephanopoulos today and touched on unemployment benefits. A few excerpts from the transcript:

STEPHANOPOULOS: What are the chances we're going to see a second dip later this year?

GEITHNER: That's something we're very focused on, again. We need recovery to be built on private demand, private spending. Businesses taking a chance again on the American economy. Putting investments to work. Starting to rebuild their employment base. That's the ultimate test for recovery. And a very important thing for us is to make sure we're sticking with this until we're very confident we have a strong private sector led recovery in place.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And what are you looking at that would give you some cause for concern that we could slip back.

GEITHNER: Well, I don't think you can see that risk now, again. In the stimulus program and what we've done in the financial sector are designed to have sustained impact. Again, the damage we had done to our economy was so great that it was just going to take a long sustained effort.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that means unemployment will remain high for the rest of this year. At the same time we're seeing reports that up to 1 and a half million people could be losing their unemployment benefits by the end of this year. Does that mean that the Administration is going to have to look at extending unemployment benefits again?

GEITHNER: I think that is something that the Administration and Congress are going to look very carefully at as we get closer to the end of this year . And that's going to be one important thing to look at.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We already know that a million and half people are going to lose their benefits don't we?

GEITHNER: Again the most important thing we need people to understand is working with the Congress we're going to make sure we do enough to bring this economy back. But you know our job is not just to repair the damage done to this economy, bring growth back....
emphasis added
Geithner discussed several other subjects including the need to decrease the budget deficit.