Two Million Unemployed Workers To Lose Benefits

As the unemployment crisis continues on, those left jobless have had to make a living on meager unemployment insurance provided by the government. Many of these people are the long-term unemployed, who lost jobs during the initial drop and have been living on a small fraction of their previous income while trying to find a new job. If Congress, though, doesn’t act soon, two million of the long-term unemployed are going to lose their last lifeline. Lawmakers have until the end of the year, but given their penchant for not doing anything to help anyone (except bankers!), the odds aren’t looking great.

There are several reasons why unemployment insurance is necessary, especially during an extended jobs drought. Most importantly, though, with new hires stagnating and the number of unemployed people per job opening still above 4, most people who are looking for jobs are completely unable to find them. This means that the insurance is going to people who are very reasonably trying to find work, but cannot because there simply aren’t enough jobs for the unemployed. Of course, their search for jobs is worsened by discrimination against the unemployed, which is rampant in hiring practices.

Though some conservatives argue that unemployment benefits provide incentives for the unemployed to remain unemployed, this is patently absurd in the kind of recession we’re living in today. As Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said in 2010 — and is still true today — “anyone who thinks that high unemployment in the first quarter of 2010 has anything to do with workers getting excessively generous benefits must not get out much.”

This gets back to the point at hand — anyone who does get out knows that people are desperate for jobs. And if Congress continues to twiddle its thumbs, two million of those people who are actively trying to find a way to support their family will lose the last source of income they have. This means that those families that rely on unemployment insurance income will likely fall into poverty, like so many Americans have recently.

It’s time for Washington to have some compassion and stand with those who have actually had to suffer in the recession. Not just bankers who are unhappy with half-a-million dollar salaries.

Related Stories:

Should We Hire The Unemployed For $40K Each?

US Household Income Won’t Recover For Another Decade

Multiple Generations Getting Cozy in a Tough Economy

Photo from bytemark via flickr.


William C
William Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

W. C
W. Cabout a year ago


federico bortoletto


Marg Wood
Marg W6 years ago

In Canada if you are collecting we call it employment insurance,you have to report to the office perodically with a list of all the places you have been looking for work in your field. If you don't have enough on the list you can be cut off.

Calvin J.
Calvin J.6 years ago

Help me keep up and running by buying a t-shirt or making a donation at

Thank for your help


joanna e.
joanna e6 years ago

Two middle aged sons out of work...hope the money huggers are happy.

Donegal Higgins
Past Member 6 years ago

The Republican House makes me ashamed of this country.

Andrew Carvin
Andrew Carvin6 years ago

Businesses now actively discriminate against people who don't have jobs now leading to a catch 22 where you can't get a job because you don't have a job.

So all of you who think it's so @#$!ing easy to get a job can go @#$! yourselves.

People are suffer and die because of ignorant pieces of #$@! that spread lies about how "easy" it is to get a job these days.

Andrew Carvin
Andrew Carvin6 years ago

A message to those hating on entitlement recipients:

A business will only hire what they need to get a job done regardless of what their profits are.

Unemployment will continue to grow as the job pyramid shrinks.

People with no income cannot buy stuff because they have no money.

The economy will die because people can't buy anything.

Rich people will end up broke because their money/investments will be worthless after the economy dies.

Stop believing the lies of greedy stupid people. Giving more money to the rich will NOT solve America’s problems. It will just make things even worse.

People who are on government assistance are not losers. I don't know what kind of over privileged distorted reality you live in, but it obviously has no basis in this reality. The "losers" as you so kindly put it are made up of people whom circumstance has dealt a bad hand.

These days all it takes is one natural disaster, one accident, one hospital bill, one bounced check, one anything happening to a family struggling to get by to end up as one of the people you so heartlessly label as being a "loser."

I really hope you have the opportunity to become a victim of your own narrow mindset someday soon.

Patrick F.
Patrick f6 years ago

Nancy L You should turn your friends in, they are still required to look for work. Even if jobs are scarce, you still should be looking, not looking will result in a 100% failure and give the heartless Republicans a GOOD reason to bash the poor. People who abuse the system are no better than the system itself.