unemployment insurance

Initial Unemployment Claims Just Won't Budge - 387,000 for June 16th, 2012

Initial weekly unemployment claims for the week ending on June 16, 2012 were 387,000. The DOL reports this as a decrease of 2,000 from last week, yet last week's initial claims were revised up, from 386,000 to 389,000, an increase of 3,000. Initial claims for unemployment insurance are stagnating, not declining as needed, as seen in the below chart.


Unemployment Claims Going in the Wrong Direction, 386,000 for Week of April 14th, 2012

Initial weekly unemployment claims for the week ending on April 14th, 2012 were 386,000. The DOL reports this as a decrease of 2,000 from last week. The previous week was revised, from 380,000 to 388,000, an increase of 8,000. This is not good news for any recovery.


Republicans Deny Unemployment Benefits

For all of you about to be denied unemployment and can't find a job, it's time to write your Congressional representatives.

The House of Representatives on Thursday voted down a measure that would have reauthorized extended unemployment insurance for another three months, leaving no clear path forward to prevent the benefits from lapsing as scheduled on Nov. 30.

Without a reauthorization, the Labor Department estimates that two million long-term unemployed will prematurely stop receiving benefits before the end of the year.

"I think it's a sad moment," said Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) after the vote. "It appalls me that the Republicans keep pitching and pitching and pitching the tax cuts for the rich and won't join in a bill to help people keep their homes and not have to live in their cars."

The bill was brought to the floor under a "suspension of the rules," meaning it required approval from two-thirds of the House. It failed 258 to 154, with mostly Democratic support. Twenty-one Republicans voted in favor and 11 Democrats voted nay.

For all those 99ers going to now be homeless (odds on), check out 2 million people about to be denied unemployment benefits.

Remember this only covers (if they were extended) 48% of the workforce. Most can't even qualify to obtain unemployment benefits due to being self-employed, temporary and so on.

Republicans kill unemployment extension

A few weeks ago this bill was a foregone conclusion. But with solid opposition from Republicans, and a few defecting conservative Democrats, 1.2 million Americans will suddenly lose their last lifeline.

The measure would protect doctors from a steep cut in Medicare rates scheduled to take effect Friday and extend emergency unemployment benefits that support more than 5 million people. Without congressional action, an estimated 1.2 million people will stop receiving checks by the end of the month, according to independent estimates.
The package also would extend some expired tax breaks for businesses and individuals, including the hugely popular research and development tax credit. And it would raise taxes on oil companies, multinational corporations and investment partnerships.
During the past month, Democratic leaders have winnowed the overall price tag down from $200 billion and reduced its impact on the deficit by two-thirds. The House narrowly approved the package and sent it to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) has been trying to add $24 billion in aid to state governments, a top Obama priority designed to avert thousands of state layoffs and prevent the 9.7 percent unemployment rate from shooting even higher.

Senate goes on vacation; leaves unemployed to rot

In the Senate's rush to get home for a two week vacation they left one piece of business unfinished.

For the last few weeks 15 million or more unemployed Americans along with some of the Democratic Senators have been working diligently to get the Tax Extenders bill passed by the end of the month. Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Majority leader, has even went as far as to make threatening statements about not recessing for the holiday unless this bill was passed. I am sorry to report that the Senator has recessed the present session for the two week holiday without taking the issue into hand.

What this means is that long-term unemployed people will stop being eligible for extensions once their current extension expires. The impact of this will be immediate.

But now with the Senate on recess and not back until June 7th, basically nothing more can happen until then at the earliest. And by mid-June, we're already going to have seen 300,000 people run out of unemployment benefits.

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