Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill To Extend and Improve the Unemployment Insurance Program.

September 01, 1954

I AM HAPPY to sign the bill known as H.R. 9709. Not since unemployment insurance was first the subject for Federal legislation has it been so greatly extended and improved as it is by this new law.

This law assures almost four million additional workers that they will have the same type of income protection, when temporarily unemployed, as do those now covered by the system. Almost one-and-a-half million of these workers are employees who were not covered under the previous Act because their employers did not hire eight or more workers; this new Act gives protection to those whose employers hire [our or more workers. Thanks to this new law, moreover, more than two million Federal civilian workers now will enjoy the same kind of unemployment insurance coverage available to workers in many private industries.

I believe that our citizens now generally accept the principle that insurance against loss of income due to unemployment, to old age or to disability should be provided under law. This is a practical and orderly way to alleviate such personal hardships in a free, private enterprise economy. The enactment of H.R. 9709--together with extension and improvement of Old Age and Survivors Insurance--makes 1954 a year of unusual progress toward greater economic security for all our citizens.

But much remains to be done. I hope that next winter state legislatures will supplement the action of the Congress by passing certain unemployment insurance measures of their own. Through such action our citizens might expect larger benefits and longer duration of benefits, and employees of state and local governments might gain inclusion in unemployment insurance systems established by those governments. This action would affect a total of about 4.2 million additional workers throughout the nation.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 9709 is Public Law 767, 83d Congress (68 Stat. 1130).

The statement was released at Lowry Air Force Base, Denver, Colo.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill To Extend and Improve the Unemployment Insurance Program. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231777

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