Why was the benefit period extended for unemployment compensation?

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The benefit period for unemployment compensation was extended because of the fact that the economy of the United States was extremely weak.  This meant that it was very hard for people to find new jobs in a short period of time.

Unemployment compensation is generally meant to tide a worker over after they have been laid off.  It is provided for a relatively short period of time.  It assumes that a worker who is really trying to find a new job will be able to do so in a few months.  In general, this tends to be true.

During the “Great Recession,” however, this was not true.  There were many people who were unable to find new jobs months after they had lost their old jobs.  This was because the economy was simply too weak to create new jobs.  In this situation, the government believed that it was necessary to extend the period for the provision of benefits.  It did so in order to help workers who, through no real fault of their own, could not find new jobs in the time frame usually allowed under the unemployment compensation program. 

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