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Stimulus for unemployment benefits a $500 million boost for Iowa
Federal stimulus dollars for Iowa’s unemployment insurance system boosted the state’s economy by over $500 million and more than 3,700 jobs in 2009, with continuing benefits into 2010, according to a new analysis of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
The report, by the non-partisan Iowa Fiscal Partnership, found that an average of 52,917 Iowans per week benefited from the unemployment insurance provisions of ARRA, each receiving $25 more per week and a federal extension of benefits. That direct spending for unemployment insurance included in the federal stimulus, along with ripple effects from that spending, produced $501.7 million increased economic activity and $112.1 million in income in 2009, creating or saving 3,727 jobs.
For the current year, the researchers also found direct and indirect benefits but in lower amounts, $314.6 million activity, $68.6 million income and 2,258 jobs.
“More and longer unemployment benefits have helped Iowans most affected by the recession meet their basic living needs while they search for new jobs. It also has saved jobs for Iowans who, but for the stimulus, might have also found themselves without work,” said Andrew Cannon, who co-authored the report.
The report found that every $100 million in federal dollars invested in Iowa’s unemployment insurance system sustains 1,001 jobs earning $30.1 million in labor incomes in Iowa’s economy.
Nearly 1.2 million unemployed Americans – including an estimated 76,000 Iowa workers – face an imminent cutoff of government unemployment benefits if Congress cannot pass emergency legislation to extend federal benefits before funding expires Sunday.