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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

A top Democrat backs $600 unemployment boost. Studies show increase didn’t discourage people from working

  • Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the incoming chair of the Senate Finance Committee, is calling for a $600 weekly boost in unemployment benefits.
  • That's the same level as an earlier CARES Act enhancement. Republicans had said a $600 supplement would keep people from working.
  • A new Yale University study suggests that didn't happen since demand for workers fell significantly.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-ORSarah Silbiger | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and the incoming chair of the Senate Finance Committee, is calling anew for a $600-a-week increase in jobless aid.

That backing comes as a new study, published by researchers at Yale University, found that a $600 boost to weekly unemployment benefits didn't keep Americans from looking for work over the spring and summer when a prior enhancement was in place.

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A payment of that magnitude, along with a mechanism to phase out benefits as economic conditions improve, will help families get through to the end of the crisis, Wyden said.

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