unemployment benefits

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Jobless Claims Hit Pre-Recession Levels

2.56M people are receiving benefits, a 6-year low

(Newser) - Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, as the number of people collecting jobless aid fell to its lowest level in more than six years. The Labor Department said today that weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000. The four-week average, a less... More »

Senate OKs More Jobless Benefits

But Boehner spokesman says House isn't interested

(Newser) - After months of knocking heads, the US Senate voted today 59-38 to revive jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed—but the bill's fate in the House looks hazy at best, the AP reports. A small group of GOP senators quickly reached out to House Speaker John Boehner, urging him... More »

Long-Term Unemployed May Get Benefits After All

Senators reach compromise on retroactive assistance

(Newser) - Long-term unemployed people who lost their benefits at the end of last year now have hope of getting that money after all. A group of bipartisan senators struck a deal today to extend the benefits for five months, retroactive to December, reports Politico . Because five Republicans already have signed on... More »

Bill to Extend Jobless Benefits Fails in Senate

Republicans insist on offsetting budget cuts

(Newser) - Republicans today blocked legislation from advancing in the Senate to restore benefits for the long-term unemployed. Only four GOP senators voted to advance the legislation, which all 53 Democrats and two independents support. When its fate was sealed, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid switched his vote, which made the final... More »

Jobless Bill Clears Key Senate Vote in Squeaker

Republicans cross aisle for unexpected success

(Newser) - A bill to revive extended unemployment benefits squeaked through its first procedural vote 60-37, a narrow win that outlets including Politico are characterizing as a surprise. Six moderate Republican senators voted with Democrats to renew the recently expired benefits: Kelly Ayotte, Susan Collins, Dan Coats, Dean Heller, Lisa Murkowski, and... More »

Dems Raising a Ruckus Over Jobless Benefits

President Obama plans to keep issue in the news

(Newser) - President Obama plans to climb the bully pulpit this week and hammer Congress—but really, just congressional Republicans—for failing to extend long-term unemployment benefits. The White House has concocted a plan to keep the issue in the news on a daily basis, Politico reports. Tomorrow, Obama will invite a... More »

Today's the Day: Long-Term Jobless Benefits Expire

More than 1M affected

(Newser) - A political fight on Capitol Hill becomes very real today for about 1.3 million Americans: Their long-term unemployment benefits expire. In the latest budget deal, lawmakers didn't extend the 5-year-old federal emergency program that provides an average of $300 a month to people who have used up their... More »

Corporate America Likes High Unemployment Rates

It gives companies more leverage over workers, writes Paul Krugman

(Newser) - Benefits for the long-term unemployed run out tomorrow, which Paul Krugman thinks is not only a travesty but a reminder that we need to make reducing unemployment a top priority. The problem is that the political will to do so isn't strong, he writes in the New York Times... More »

Do-Nothing Congress Has Lots to Do This Month

Senate, House will only be in town together for a few days

(Newser) - Here's a list of things Congress must get done in December or else: Confirm Janet Yellen's Fed nomination; pass a new farm bill; fund the Pentagon; renew a ban on hard-to-detect plastic guns; and extend some unemployment benefits, help for workers displaced by global trade, and a set... More »

For 2M Jobless, Benefits Set to Dry Up

Congress isn't looking likely to pass an extension

(Newser) - Some 1.3 million Americans could lose their unemployment benefits at the end of the year, with another 850,000 seeing benefits expire in March 2014 if Congress doesn't extend an emergency plan that ends Dec. 31. And though congressional Democrats and the White House are urging an extension,... More »

NJ Sent $24M in Benefits— to Prisoners

Agencies didn't check databases to see if recipients were in prison

(Newser) - New Jersey sent nearly $24 million in taxpayer money to prisoners in the form of unemployment, welfare, pension, and other benefits, reports the New York Times . An audit released yesterday uncovered 20,000 prisoners who received benefit money between July 2009 and April 2011, including tales such as one man... More »

Millions About to Lose Unemployment Benefits

Emergency payouts set to expire at year's end

(Newser) - Millions of Americans may be dreading New Year's Day—because that's when their unemployment benefits are scheduled to expire, reports the Wall Street Journal . Some economists dread it too, saying the federally backed emergency payments help the economy and put food on the table for 2.1 million... More »

On Eve of Jobs Report, a Shiny Number

ADP says private sector added 201K jobs in August, but it's been wrong before...

(Newser) - Teams Obama and Romney will likely be biting their nails come 8:29am tomorrow, as the first of the three remaining pre-election jobs reports are issued. With less than 24 hours to go, some hints of what may come:
  • In what the AP calls an "encouraging sign," a
... More »

500K Jobless Lose Benefits Earlier Than Expected

...in just the first 6 months of 2012

(Newser) - Come June, about 70,000 people will lose long-term unemployment benefits sooner than they expected, bumping the number of people who've had the rug pulled out from under them in the first six months of the year to nearly 500,000, the New York Times reports. Congress renewed its... More »

236K Lose Jobless Benefits

Some of country's hardest hit states see benefits expire

(Newser) - Unemployment benefits abruptly dried up for 236,300 people this weekend, as federal support for the long-term unemployed expired in some of the country's hardest-hit states. Thanks to a law Congress passed in February, long-term benefits are being scaled back from 99 weeks to 79 weeks, the Hill explains.... More »

Jobless Claims Drop, Reach 4-Year Low

Meanwhile, consumer confidence is rising

(Newser) - A bit more good news on the unemployment front: The number of people filing new claims for jobless benefits dropped by 14,000 last week, about triple the figure analysts expected, reports the Wall Street Journal . The total of 351,000 matches a four-year low, notes Bloomberg . The trend seems... More »

Pipeline May End Up in Final Tax Deal

Republicans adamant about keeping Keystone in play

(Newser) - Republican lawmakers are determined to push through a measure speeding a White House decision on the Keystone XL pipeline—and they're ready to link it to the payroll tax cut extension. If the Senate sends the House legislation that extends the tax break, as well as jobless benefits and... More »

New GOP Push: No Jobless Benefits for Rich

They also want to keep millionaires off food stamps

(Newser) - The GOP has found some millionaires it won't stand up for: Millionaires on food stamps. House Republicans have added a measure to their payroll tax holiday bill that would cut off food stamps and unemployment benefits for people with a gross adjusted income of $1 million or more, the... More »

Next Dogfight for Congress: Payroll Taxes

And this time, the outcome could cost you about $1K

(Newser) - Now that the super committee lies in ruins, Congress has another scramble on its hands—what to do about the current payroll tax holiday, which is up Dec. 31, and unemployment benefits, which expire for 2 million people soon after. Failing to extend either could put a serious dent in... More »

Unemployed Stung by BofA Fees on Benefits

Big banks benefit from debit card programs

(Newser) - Bank of America has retreated from plans to charge a monthly debit card fee , but some of the people who can least afford it are still being stung. In South Carolina, one of several states that have contracted with BofA to deliver unemployment benefits through debit cards instead of checks,... More »

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