Joining other governors from throughout the United States, Gov. Neil Abercrombie today called on U.S. House and Senate leadership to swiftly extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program (EUC), which expired on Dec. 28, 2013.
As a result of the EUC expiration, approximately 1.3 million jobless workers nationwide, including 20,000 recent military veterans, experienced the end of their benefits on Dec. 28, and nearly 1.9 million more will lose their unemployment benefits over the first half of 2014.
In Hawaii, 2,200 individuals were cut off from their unemployment benefits on Dec. 28. Without the extension, it is estimated that 250 individuals locally will also lose their benefits each week during the first half of this year.
The Governor stated:
“Even though Hawaii’s labor market has strengthened to 4.4 percent unemployment – the fifth lowest unemployment rate in the nation – we cannot leave behind local families whose situation has not improved as quickly as others.
“The Emergency Unemployment Compensation program provides an important safety net and bridge for families still struggling to make ends meet as they secure jobs and financial stability. Benefits are used to pay rent, groceries, and other necessities for themselves and their families.
“The EUC program also injects revenue into our local economy, which will serve to sustain and further improve upon Hawaii’s fiscal and economic turnaround.”