Congress May Extend Unemployment Benefits for 1 Million

A House bill may give more than 1 million jobless Americans an extra 13 weeks of unemployment benefits. The bills is expected to pass the House vote today and make its way to the Senate, according to CNN.

The bill will extend benefits in states with unemployment rates exceeding 8.5%—which includes 27 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

The national unemployment rate rose to 9.7% in August, the highest in 26 years, and three states hit record unemployment rates last month: California(12.2%), Nevada (13.2%), and Rhode Island (12.8%). Michigan has the highest unemployment, at 15.2%.

If signed into law, the bill could help an estimated 314,000 Americans set to expire their benefits this month, and over 1 million by year’s end.

Unemployment Rates in the Recession

Job loss is expected to continue through 2010, with up to 1.4 million jobs cut by the end of the year. President Obama has said that jobs may not improve for another year, as new job creation typically comes at the end of recovery.

The National Employment Law Project reports that more than half of laid off workers fail to find work within 6 months, and there are currently 6 available workers for each new job.

Unemployment, especially for long periods and without benefits, is a major cause for personal bankruptcy filings.

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