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Help for the Unemployed
All the bad news about job losses in the media may have resulted in something good—Congress and labor groups are pushing to extend unemployment benefits. Currently, anyone who loses a full-time job is eligible to receive unemployment benefits every week for 26 weeks. This new push would extend that window by up to another 26 weeks.
The reason is that workers are finding it harder to get new jobs in this market than it has been in previous downturns, with unemployed workers spending an average of 16 weeks looking for a job. It's also taking much longer than in year's past, and many find that their benefits run out before they find a new position. Congress estimates that it would cost the government up to $2 billion per month to extend these benefits, but it would likely get pumped right back into the economy.
It’s unclear if or when these benefits would kick in, but with an unemployment rate at 5.1% and growing, it will likely be pretty soon. [The New York Times]