99ers is a term used to describe the unemployed Americans, a cross section of the American society which includes young and old, race, color, creed, Democrats and Republicans equipped with all kinds of educational and skills. The term has been extended to those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits. The employment benefits can vary from state to state. In fact, the unemployment rate is a reflection of the nation’s economy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate hit a five-year low of 6.6% in January 2014, but long-term unemployment still remains high. Even though there has been a six-month extension of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), only one in four unemployed American will get job benefits.
Many Democrats believe that Republicans might lose vote in 2014 elections because Republican controlled states have the highest rate of unemployment. If unemployment insurance is not extended in 2014, 14 million Americans will be affected – 4.9 million workers and 9 million family members being supported by these workers. And if the emergency unemployment benefit is extended, it will create 200,000 jobs and boost economy.
Critics believe if the duration of long-term unemployment benefits is increased, it will lead to decrease in the demand for workers. These benefits will boost the unemployed to go for higher wages and call for employers to pay more to new workers and those on payroll. Just like higher minimum wage, this incident will make employers post less job openings. Increasing long-term unemployment benefits will neither help in the overall economy nor the 99ers.
The 99ers know that the most important asset for them is there chance to vote in November. If 14 million 99ers unite and decide to vote or not to vote, it can change the election results. If a party thinks that blaming another side will get them votes, then they might be in for a shock. Whichever party takes a step forward to help them will win their allegiance. But there are other factors to be considered like:
- Unemployment rate is subjected to errors.
- Voters can infer the unemployment rate in other ways.
- Based on the economy, the voters can decide who they would like to vote.
These factors are not constant, but at the same time we need to remember that the public’s perception of economy is influenced by the unemployment rate. So it is to be seen how 99ers will change the outcome of 2014 Congress elections.