Wednesday, December 01, 2010

"Loss of jobless benefits could be serious blow to U.S. economy"

Don Lee (LA Times):
Many Republicans and a small number of Democrats say they're not against continuing benefits for the unemployed, but they want the government's spending to be reduced by the same amount.

That throws jobless benefits into a bitterly partisan fight over preserving the Bush-era tax cuts and how to deal with the overall budget deficit, making it more likely than ever that the emergency federal benefits for the unemployed will be cut off permanently.

If that happens — and some leaders still hope to include a compromise on jobless benefits in a larger deal over tax cuts — it would come well before such benefits were curtailed after past periods of high unemployment.

It was 28 months after the deep recession in the early 1980s that emergency benefits ended, and unemployment then was 7.2%. It is now only 17 months since the official end of the last recession, and the jobless rate is at 9.6%. MORE...

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