This year’s Thanksgiving holiday, for many families, is filled with worry about how they will pay their bills in December. The National Association of Working Women remind us that, “…Nearly 8 million workers and their families have been kept afloat by the extension of the federal unemployment insurance program while they search for work in this tough economy. Unemployment is at a historic high of 9.6%, and jobless workers across the country are doing all they can to meet their families’ basic needs. Long-term unemployment is at a level not seen since the Great Depression– over 42% of all unemployed (6.1 million workers) have been without a job for over 6 months, and 30% (4.4 million workers) have been out of work for over a year.”
“The unemployment benefits these struggling families receive kept at least 3.3 million Americans from falling into poverty in 2009 alone, including 1.5 million children. Emergency unemployment benefits, however, which help families facing long-term unemployment, expire on November 30.”
“Over one million workers per month will be cut off federal unemployment benefits if Congress doesn’t continue the program by November 30th.” Until the national unemployment rate shows measurable signs of improvement and the economy begins generating meaningful numbers of jobs, the program of federal jobless benefits should be continued by Congress. Urge your senators and representatives to help these families meet their basic needs.
The National Association of Working Women asks that we help give struggling families something to be grateful for by telling Congress to extend long-term unemployment benefits. Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art