Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Nevada and Rhode Island still at 9% Unemployment

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

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