Jobless Benefits Cut For 1.3 Million, Despite Highest Long-term Unemployment Since World War II

On Saturday, 1.3 million Americans lost their last lifeline from the federal government: an emergency unemployment insurance program. Although long-term unemployment is still at its highest level since World War II, Congress failed to renew the program in the budget deal it passed just before adjourning for winter recess. The program provided up to 47 weeks of supplemental unemployment insurance payments to jobless people looking for work. Now, just a quarter of unemployed Americans will receive jobless benefits -- the smallest proportion in half a century. Allowing the program to sunset is expected to have wide-scale ramifications for the economy at large, axing job growth by around 300,000 positions next year and pushing hundreds of thousands of households to the brink of poverty. We are joined by Imara Jones, economic justice contributor for Colorlines.com.


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