Congress considering extending jobless benefits

February 11, 2011

The long-termed unemployed would receive an additional 14 weeks of benefits under a bill introduced in Congress this week. [CaliforniaWatch]

In California, there are more than 330,000 people who have exhausted the maximum 99 weeks of unemployment insurance, recently dubbed the “99ers.”

The bill, proposed by Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Bobby Scott, D-Va., would extend jobless benefits for both the 99ers and those currently unemployed.

“Millions of workers across the nation, many of whom live in my district, are experiencing a true state of emergency. Our bill would ensure these long-term unemployed workers get the long overdue assistance they need to support their families, make ends meet and contribute to our economy,” Lee said in a statement.

A federal extension of unemployment insurance in 2009 suppressed the poverty rate and increased spending. The Employment Development Department said jobless Californians receive an average of $293 a week.

Federal unemployment insurance paid out nearly $160 billion in benefits last year, up from $120 billion in 2009. The proposed extension is estimated to cost $16 billion.

In California, the unemployment rate remains in double digits at 12.3 percent in December. San Luis Obispo County’s December unemployment rate of 9.7 percent was a slight improvement of November’s 9.8 percent rate.

More than 46 percent of the jobless in December had been out of work for 27 weeks or more, and more than 355,000 filed for unemployment insurance for the first time, said California Watch.



  1. stowbee says:

    Stimulating the economy rotates in as the primary objective of a majority of Americans in polls. Unemployment stimulates the economy. Period. Not as much as say, a war or wars with the Department of Defense drawing on unlimited funding, but more than the snail’s pace we’ve been on in the past 2.5 years. Look at any economic bar-graph highlighting UI/EDD payments and Gross Economic Growth and you’ll the two draw parallel lines.
    The money comes from Employers. Companies pay into unemployment tax. Unemployments payments are taxed to the claimant, just like ordinary income tax of employed people like danika and beenthere. Social Security runs in an entirely different way, Danika.
    Been there: Originality does not define public policy. Every program originates with a set of rules, a budget, and changes over time. The articles states there are 355K new applicants in December alone. More people are succombing to layoffs and fallen business enterprises. The numbers are changing. It is changing. Modifying the unemployment term from 2 to 2.17, a increase of less than 10% in the duration, and not the rules, of unemployment compensation, is logical in order to keep up with a changing America.

    (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  2. danika says:

    Let’s do the math, shall we? 99 plus 14 = 113 weeks, divided by 52 = 2 years and 3 months plus. Seriously? We can afford to do this? Where is the money coming from? We have already stripped funds from Social Security (which I have paid into for 30 years faithfully and without fail) and are 14 TRILLION in debt…did we plan a money tree in Washington unknown to us all? Nope. We voted for a money pit. STOP!! Just stop.

    (12) 22 Total Votes - 17 up - 5 down
  3. BeenThereDoneThat says:


    That is the amount of years on unemployment if this goes through. That is just shy of 2 years 2 months. I feel for these people but we are in the mist of creating another social program with unemployment. Oh and anyone that counters with they pay in so hence it isn’t a social program, fair enough but ORIGIANALLY unemployment was less than 24 weeks. People taking on the 2.17 plan will NEVER pay in the amount they would collect for a long time, if ever.

    (14) 24 Total Votes - 19 up - 5 down

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