Bishops Urge Unemployment Insurance and Compensation In The Face Of ‘Pervasive Economic Pain’

December 12, 2011 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—As they finalize federal spending priorities, Congress should find ways to assure continuation of Unemployment Insurance and Emergency Unemployment Compensation, said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

“For millions of American workers and their families, economic hardship continues and grows. The US Catholic bishops have long advocated that the most effective way to build a just economy is the availability of decent work at decent wages,” wrote Bishop Blaire in a December 12 letter to Congress. “When the economy fails to generate sufficient jobs, there is a moral obligation to help protect the life and dignity of unemployed workers and their families.”

Bishop Blaire wrote that the current “pervasive economic pain” includes a median length of joblessness of 10 months, and over four job seekers for every opening. He wrote that Pope John Paul II called such conditions in “a real social disaster” and that the pope said the “obligation to provide unemployment benefits” to workers and their families is a fundamental principle of “the right to life and subsistence.”

The full text of Bishop Blaire’s letter is available online:


Keywords: Unemployment Insurance, Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Domestic Justice and Human Development, USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, Pope John Paul II, U.S. Congress, federal budget, joblessness, workers, poor, unemployed, families

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