December 5, 2010
For many of the long-term unemployed, time has run out.
Until this past week, emergency jobless benefits lasted as long as 99 weeks for people in the hardest-hit states. But with five people unemployed for every job available, 99 weeks might not be long enough.
Since the 1950s, the federal government has consistently extended emergency unemployment benefits whenever the jobless rate has been more than 7.5 percent. On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are using unemployment benefits as a sweetener for a deal on the Bush-era tax cuts, working on a compromise that would temporarily extend both policies.
Sustained high rates of unemployment could result in an unemployed underclass disconnected from the workforce, economist Kevin Hassett says. He tells NPR’s Audie Cornish that it may be time to rethink the federal unemployment insurance program altogether.
The Psychological Cost – Continued @ Living Without Work: The Long-Term Unemployed