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Capital and Its Complements

Unemployment Benefit Extension Blogging; Why Does George W. Bush Hate John McCain?

A crass political post...

Calculated Risk writes:

Calculated Risk: Unemployment Benefits Extended: An extension of unemployment benefits for 13 weeks was included in the war funding bill signed by President Bush today. This extension covers workers who used all their unemployment benefits between November 2006 and March 2009...

The rule of thumb, IIRC, is that the average duration of an unemployment spell increases by 1/4 of the increase in the duration of unemployment benefits. Thus a 13-week increase in unemployment insurance duration should increase the average unemployment spell by 3 weeks. With current mean unemployment spell duration at 17 weeks, and with roughly 2/3 of the unemployed eligible for UI, this would produce a 3/17 * 2/3 * 5.5% = 0.6% increase in the measured unemployment rate.

It seems to me likely that--whatever happens to the economy--George W. Bush has just produced four bad unemployment-rate headlines on the Saturdays August 2, September 6, and October 4. This cannot be news that John McCain is happy to hear.