"Bleak future" for jobless Americans as unemployment benefits run out

Reuters-via Interaksyon.com-reports that 25 percent of the seven million Americans receiving jobless benefits under seven different state and federal programs may be cut off by January the U.S. Congress "does not renew an extended benefits program that expires at year end."

Reuters-via Interaksyon.com-reports that 25 percent of the seven million Americans receiving jobless benefits under seven different state and federal programs may be cut off by January the U.S. Congress "does not renew an extended benefits program that expires at year end."

 

If that transpires, U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration "estimates that through the course of 2012, about 6 million people would lose federally funded unemployment benefits if Congress does not act."

The report noted: "Currently, federal money ensures that the unemployed receive benefits for up to 99 weeks in states where joblessness is high. Ending the program would mean the newly unemployed would have to rely on state programs that usually last for only 26 weeks. Extended benefits have been renewed several times as the economy struggled to mount a vigorous recovery from the 2007 to 2009 recession, the worst since the Great Depression."

Reuters quoted Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, who said "the average unemployed worker receiving extended benefits gets just $296 a week."  Owens pointed out: "That represents only 50 percent of the income needed to cover the most basic necessities of food, housing and transportation."


According to the report, "Those opposed to extending the [unemployment] benefits argue that they have failed to stimulate the economy and are instead encouraging recipients to continue seeking jobs that do not exist." It also added that analysts say "some of the long-term unemployed could end up settling for lesser-paying jobs, but even those are in short supply since for there are about 4.6 people vying for one job opening."

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For more on this story, read the Reuters article posted on Interaksyon.com.

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