Posted by: jhamon | August 2, 2009

More Unemployed Exhausting Benefits

~ put on a happy face~
Summer At The Beach: Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

Somebody pointed out to me last night that I wasn’t posting enough positive, happy stuff.  For the record, I enjoy plenty of laughs with my family, friends and co-laborers. 

But when it comes to data, I just present things the way they are: I can only always work with the truth, no matter how unpleasant.  And unfortunately, the truth really is unpleasant these days, no matter how badly people want to paint a happy face on a transient summer bounce in real estate prices.

No less than the New York Times has picked up on the looming problem of increasing numbers of unemployed Americans reaching the ends of their unemployment benefits.  Read this and tell me, really, that the real estate bottom is in:

 Prolonged Aid to Unemployed Is Running Out

Over the coming months, as many as 1.5 million jobless Americans will exhaust their unemployment insurance benefits, ending what for some has been a last bulwark against foreclosures and destitution.

Because of emergency extensions already enacted by Congress, laid-off workers in nearly half the states can collect benefits for up to 79 weeks, the longest period since the unemployment insurance program was created in the 1930s. But unemployment in this recession has proved to be especially tenacious, and a wave of job-seekers is using up even this prolonged aid.

Tens of thousands of workers have already used up their benefits, and the numbers are expected to soar in the months to come, reaching half a million by the end of September and 1.5 million by the end of the year, according to new projections by the National Employment Law Project, a private research group.

Calls are rising for Congress to pass yet another extension this fall, possibly adding 13 more weeks of coverage in states with especially high unemployment. As of June, the national unemployment rate was 9.5 percent, reaching 15.2 percent in Michigan. Even if the recession begins to ease, economists say, jobs will remain scarce for some time to come.

Unemployment insurance is now a lifeline for nine million Americans, with payments averaging just over $300 per week, varying by state and work history. While many recipients find new jobs before exhausting their benefits, large numbers in the current recession have been unable to find work for a year or more.

“If more help is not on the way, by September a huge wave of workers will start running out of their critical extended benefits, and many will have nothing left to get by on even as work keeps getting harder to find,” said Maurice Emsellem, a policy director of the employment law project.

Unemployment Benefits Running Low

Unemployment Benefits Running Low

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