December 07, 2010

With Approximately 800,000 Unemployed New Yorkers, Gillibrand Fights To Extend Emergency Unemployment Assistance For Struggling Families

More Than 40,000 NY Jobs Will Be Lost Next Year By Cutting Emergency Assistance

Washington, DC – With approximately 800,000 New Yorkers out of work and approximately 200,000 about to lose the emergency unemployment insurance assistance they depend on, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is fighting to extend long-term unemployment insurance assistance through the end of 2011.

Without an extension, the 200,000 total New Yorkers who will lose their benefits by the end of this year will nearly double to approximately 400,000 by May of 2011. More than 40,000 New York jobs will be lost by December 2011 from cutting emergency unemployment benefits now, according to a report released last week from the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

“Emergency unemployment assistance is not only vital for families across New York, it is critical for our overall economy,” Senator Gillibrand said. “For many families, this assistance is the sole source of income, and their only way to put food on the table and meet basic needs during the winter season. They can’t afford to be cut off now. We need to make sure we’re providing emergency assistance for New Yorkers who are out of work by no fault of their own.”

Of the approximately 800,000 New Yorkers who are currently out of work and the 15 million people unemployed across the country, nearly half have been jobless for more than 6 months.

Click here for county-by-county estimates of how many New Yorkers are out of work and could lose their unemployment assistance by the end of the year.

  • In New York City, more than 360,000 are out of work and more than 95,000 will lose their unemployment assistance by the end of the year.
  • In Western New York, more than 55,000 are out of work and more than 14,000 will lose their unemployment assistance by the end of the year.
  • In the Rochester/Finger Lakes Region, more than 46,000 are out of work and more than 11,000 will lose their unemployment assistance by the end of the year.
  • In Central New York, more than 42,000 are out of work and more than 10,000 will lose their unemployment assistance by the end of the year. 
  • In the Southern Tier, more than 20,000 are out of work and more than 5,500 will lose their unemployment assistance by the end of the year.
  • In the Capital Region, 41,000 are out of work and nearly 10,000 will lose their unemployment assistance by the end of the year. 
  • In the North Country, nearly 20,000 are out of work and nearly 5,000 will lose their unemployment assistance by the end of the year.
  • In the Hudson Valley, more than 80,000 are out of work and 20,000 will lose their unemployment assistance by the end of the year.
  • On Long Island, more than 100,000 are out of work and 28,000 will lose their unemployment assistance by the end of the year. 


Senator Gillibrand’s proposal would extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, which provides additional weeks of unemployment insurance in states hard hit by the recession, including New York, through December of 2011.  Additionally, it would continue full federal financing for the Extended Benefits (EB) program, which provides an additional 20 weeks of assistance for individuals out of work through no fault of their own.  Under current state law, New Yorkers would lose these benefits if they were not fully funded by the federal government.      

In addition to being a lifeline for families and individuals to meet basic needs as they look for new jobs, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that unemployment insurance assistance is the most effective measure to fight the economic recession. In fact, each dollar invested in unemployment assistance doubles its economic return as families who rely on this assistance spend it immediately on basic necessities. 

In 2009, 3 million Americans avoided poverty as a result of unemployment insurance assistance.