Senators Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) have introduced a bill offering a three-month extension for those who just lost their federal extend unemployment benefits --- and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev). has promised to bring it up for a vote early next year.
Although, Tea Partiers such as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky argue that the payments aggravate rather than relieve unemployment (to put it nicely).
The proposed three-month unemployment insurance extension the Senate plans to vote on next week won’t make any changes to the current eligibility structure for federally backed emergency benefits. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is thinking about pushing to change how eligibility for emergency unemployment benefits is determined, making it easier for the long-term unemployed to access benefits as the economy improves.
Previously, jobless workers were only eligible for the maximum duration of federal benefits — 73 weeks — if the state they were filing in had at least a 9 percent unemployment rate. Only Nevada and Rhode Island has a 9 percent unemployment rate today — exactly.
Nevada’s unemployment rate fell to 9 percent in November 2013, down from 9.3 percent in October. The rate in Las Vegas dropped to 8.6 percent. Three years ago in October 2010 it was once a whopping 15% in Las Vegas.
But the lower unemployment rates could reflect the declining national rate in the same way --- uncounted "discouraged workers" that the Bureau of Labor Statistics drops from the labor force. That's why currently, the employment-population ratio in now at a 30 year low; and the labor force participation rate is now at a 35 year low --- but yet, the unemployment rate also continues to decline. (Gee, how can that be?)
“During the Bush years, we had emergency unemployment insurance when it was 5.6 percent,” Reid said. President George W. Bush authorized long-term jobless benefits in July 2008. This is the first time that UI benefits weren't extended with unemployment this high.
About 23.9 million long-term unemployed needed federal extended benefits at one time or another since the Great Recession --- but after those benefits end, so do the chances for most people of ever finding another job again.
There are close to 48 million Americans that are out of work and want a job today (and no, that's not a typo).
News for Older Workers
- Fifty Is the New 65: Older Americans Are Getting Booted From Their Jobs - As the global population grows older, age discrimination is on the rise. It could be headed for you, much sooner than you think...Many people over 50 find themselves hanging on to their jobs for dear life, aware that they are perceived as obsolete and not as valuable as younger workers, despite their vast experience and institutional knowledge...(Too much to quote here)
- 11 Sneaky Ways Companies Get Rid Of Older Workers
- Great Recession has new wrinkles for older workers - They ask if I have kids or grandkids. They won't ask you your birth date, but they'll ask when you graduated from high school....Boomers who suffer layoffs endure far longer bouts of unemployment than the rest of the labor force.
- Aiming to end bias against older unemployed - The average duration of unemployment for those age 55 and older is about 50 weeks. That compares to 34 weeks for younger job seekers....53 percent of older workers nationally have been off the job for longer than six months – a higher percentage than any other age group.
- Out of jobs, out of benefits, out of luck - The huge backlog of unemployed workers exerts downward pressure on the wages of those still working.