Statement by the President Upon Signing the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act.
THE TEMPORARY Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1961, which I have just signed into law, is the first major bill proposed by this Administration to deal with the present recession which has passed the Congress. This program will immediately provide economic help for some 700,000 jobless workers and their families whose rights to receive regular unemployment insurance benefits under State law are exhausted. Within the next year it will provide benefit payments to an additional two and-a half-million workers who are expected to exhaust their benefits.
This Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act will add almost a billion dollars to the nation's purchasing power in the next fifteen months. These dollars will be hard-working dollars. They will be spent almost immediately--for food, for shelter, for the bare necessities. These dollars will flow into our stores, into our factories, onto our farms.
This Act is important because it will provide much needed help to over 3 million American workers and their families. It is important also because it will add hardworking dollars to the nation's purchasing power. But important as it is, it is but a temporary measure to alleviate an immediate need. We must move forward with other and more permanent programs to invigorate our economy so that our free enterprise system can reach the level of production and employment which is its obligation and which its capacity and tradition promise.
Note: The Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1961 is Public Law 87-6 (75 Stat. 8).
John F. Kennedy, Statement by the President Upon Signing the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/236188