Jobless benefits are set to end

More than 3 million Americans could lose unemployment benefits by the end of July as Congress argues whether to again extend benefits, according to USA Today. The number of people collecting benefits would decrease from 10.5 million to 7 million.

Unemployment insurance has helped as many as 11 million people at one time during the recession, driving the program’s cost to an annual rate of $145 billion in the first quarter—more than double what was spent in any previous recession. Additionally, the current extension for benefitsup to 99 weeks—is significantly higher than the previous longest extension of 65 weeks in 1975.

About 400,000 Americans are exhausting their jobless benefits every week, saving the government $2 billion since June and an estimated $34 billion through November. Additionally, about 70 percent of unemployed people have received benefits during the recession, and cash benefits were paid at a record annual rate of $14,025 per person during the first quarter.

Some say extending jobless benefits is appropriate because the unemployment rate is nearly 10 percent. Others say the extension should be more limited because there are other anti-poverty programs available.

Date : 7/19/2010