Fewer than 15 percent of low-paid workers receive benefits, according to the Government Accountability Office. In Texas last year only 19 percent of unemployed workers received benefits.
Currently 10.3 million workers, or 6.7 percent, are unemployed according to U.S. Labor Department figures. This number greatly understates the actual figure. It does not include 1.9 million workers the government claims have not been searching for jobs, nor 7.3 million involuntarily working part-time. Including them means that 12.5 percent of the workforce is unemployed or underemployed.
The state and federal governments set conditions for eligibility for benefits. Those who dont qualify include many part-time workers, those who quit or were fired, and workers who didnt earn enough money in a one-year base period, which often excludes the most recent three to six months.
In addition, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies reports that 30 state governments may run out of funds to pay unemployment benefits. Funds in two states, Indiana and Michigan, have already dried up, and both states are borrowing from the federal government to make payments to the unemployed, the New York Times said December 15.
Workers in Chicago celebrate sit-in victory
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