Wyden changes add eligible workers to unemployment rolls

Ron Wyden says it's time for a permanent, major overhaul of the U.S. unemployment system.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden says the temporary expansion of unemployment benefits to more workers — a step he championed and became part of the $2 trillion federal response to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic — should be made permanent.

As the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees the unemployment insurance system, Wyden negotiated not only a 13-week extension and a $600-per-week increase in benefits, he also secured expansion of benefits to self-employed, gig and part-time workers, freelancers and independent contractors.