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Staff talks are underway but ABC News reports discussions on Thursday were strictly about passing the omnibus spending bill – which would fund the government through next year – and were unrelated to any additional coronavirus relief.

Meanwhile lockdowns increase and unemployment claims are ticking up.

Initial Claims Rose Second Week

Initial State Unemployment Claims  2020-11-25 Report

Initial claims rose for the second consecutive week. That is the first occurrence since mid-July

Continued Claims

Continued State Unemployment Claims in 2020 November 25  Report

Continued claims fell but they lag initial claims by a week. 

Don't count on seasonal hiring to save the day because the the numbers are seasonally adjusted.

Primary PUA Claims

Primary PUA Claims in 2020  November 15 Report

PEUC Claims 

PEUC Claims 2020-11-25 Report

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation 

PEUC claims rose again, despite some people exhausting all their benefits.

How the Claims Tie Together

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  1. Most states offer at least 26 weeks of unemployment insurance plus 13 or more weeks of extended benefits. Some states offer more. States offering 30 or fewer weeks are noted.
  2. A Federal pandemic PEUC (Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation) program kicks in after regular state programs expire. PEUC provides 13 weeks of compensation at the paid state level but the money comes from the federal government. Every state participates in PEUC. It kicks in before extended benefits.
  3. Persons not eligible for state claims can file for the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. PUA covers gig workers and self-employed workers who are not covered by state programs. It also covers part-time workers. PUA is rife with fraud and terrible reporting.
  4. After PEUC expires, most but not all states have Extended Benefit programs also paid by the federal government but not every state is in the program. 

Benefits Rapidly Expiring

Unemployment Insurance Varies Widely

My chart above is modified from CBPP Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Policy Basics: How Many Weeks of Unemployment Compensation Are Available?

Where I show two numbers, the first number is regular state unemployment insurance and the second number (if present) represents extended benefits.

Unemployment Math

  • Unemployment spiked on March 21.
  • We are in week 36 of the pandemic.
  • The federal government provides 13 weeks of unemployment insurance to all states.
  • 36 - 13 = 23.

If you lost your job early in any state that provides 22 or less weeks of state + extended benefits, then you have exhausted all of your state benefits and all of your PEUC benefits.

Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina ,Missouri and Idaho are all in that group. 

12 Million Face Unemployment Benefit Cliff On December 26

PUAC and PEUC expires on December 26. 

About 3.5 million people already exhausted PEUC.

Unless there is a deal, about 12 million people will lose all their unemployment benefits in December.

Bankruptcies, evictions, and foreclosures will soar.

I expect a deal, but it will not be the all encompassing deal that Democrats want.