2 Million Jobless Wave Goodbye To Welfare

Unless Congress acts quickly, unemployment benefits will stop cold for 2 million Americans who have been jobless for 99 weeks. Benefits have already been extended well past normal lengths, but if no other extension comes, the loss of income will make the holidays sting that much harder for people unable to find work for nearly two years.

MSNBC reports Democratic efforts to extend benefits by another year were blocked by a Republican Senator concerned that the added expense of an extension would not be offset by budget cuts. Costs for jobless benefits soared to $160 billion in the last fiscal year.

Jobless benefits normally last six months, but the federal government extended them in 2007 due to the recession.

How long do you think jobless benefits should last?

Millions may lose jobless benefits as holidays loom [MSNBC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. athensguy says:

    I think the government should be open and willing to hire all able-bodies persons to work on things like infrastructure.

    • Straspey says:

      Works Progress Administration

      “The Works Progress Administration (renamed during 1939 as the Work Projects Administration; WPA) was the largest New Deal agency, employing millions to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.

      It fed children and redistributed food, clothing, and housing. Almost every community in the United States had a park, bridge or school constructed by the agency, which especially benefited rural and Western populations. Expenditures from 1936 to 1939 totaled nearly $7 billion. By 1943, the total amount spent was over $11 billion.

      Created by order of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the WPA was funded by Congress with passage of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 on April 8, 1935. The legislation had passed in the House of Representatives by a margin of 329 to 78, but was delayed by the Senate.

      Until ended by Congress and war employment during 1943, the WPA was the largest employer in the country. Most people who needed a job were eligible for at least some of its jobs.

      Hourly wages were the prevailing wages in each area; the rules said workers could not work more than 30 hours a week, but many projects included months in the field, with workers eating and sleeping on work-sites. Before 1940, there was some training involved to teach new skills and the project’s original legislation had a strong emphasis on training.”


      • hotdogsunrise says:

        With all the talk of “crumbling infrastructure” and how we need to repair roads, etc., why isn’t this considered? It seems like a perfect solution to this problem to me. Not only could those who needs jobs have a job offered to them, it would help them by building their resume at the same time. Not to mention the part about helping our country from falling apart.

        • allknowingtomato says:

          It would also solve the perception that everyone on unemployment is “lazy” or “not trying to find work” so they can get a “free” check (not free, you and your employer pay for unemployment insurance with paycheck deductions). There would be no temptation to take a guaranteed check and “fail to find work” while not actually trying to become employed, because no matter what, you’re working.

          Working, especially towards some public work or public good, also has a psychologically uplifting effect. You’re contributing/helping and all that.

          I find it interesting that everyone is judging people for staying on unemployment when less lucrative work is available. Remember, unemployment is somewhat proportional to what you were making before you lost your job, just like your established standard of living. If your amount of unemployment would prevent default on your mortgage/credit card/medical bills, but your job offer at macdonald’s will not, that is a complicated choice and I would not necessarily call someone choosing unemployment “lazy” so much as “trying to keep their life together.”

          • whitecat says:

            Thanks for saying that. It doesn’t help anyone to take a job for less than the benefits pay – not if it means not being able to pay one’s bills.

          • weestrom says:

            Except not, actually. Unemployment benefits are reduced $0.50 for every $1 earned in wages, so you’re ALWAYS better off taking a shit paying in between job, you end up with more money in your pocket. I know, I’ve done it when I was unemployed for 8 months in between “career” jobs. I worked as a phone monkey for $12 an hour and still collected a bit of unemployment insurance. Anyone who makes that argument has never actually been on unemployment and does not understand how the system works.

            • allknowingtomato says:

              Ha. Your argument is oversimplified and misleading.

              You become completely ineligible for unemployment once you begin full-time work, at any wage. usually that’s 35+ hours for wage, or just a salaried job being called “full time.” Thus your phone job must have been part time.

              Second, there are caps in each state as to how much unemployment you receive once you begin part time work. Each state is slightly different, it’s not just “half on the dollar” like you stated. In some states, benefits adjust so you cannot collect unemployment and, in combination with your part time work, earn more than 125% of the benefits unemployment would give you alone.

              So you could work 30 hours a week and get 25% more not enough money, or you could spend that time looking for a job along the lines of what you used to have. or, if you have kids, you could avoid paying for child care by not working and net WAY more than that 25%.

              But hey, you could just attack my comments ad hominem-style and declare that they are only made by people who have never been unemployed. Then again, you don’t fucking know me.

            • RandomHookup says:

              One of the issues they found that can mitigate this — the original extensions of UI didn’t take into consideration part-time work in the extended year. They calculate benefits based on your previous year of work. If you worked part-time while drawing UI, once you entered your 2nd year of coverage, they recalculated based on what you earned in the previous 12 months. Some people took a major hit for working (and reporting) part-time & self-employment work during the year.

              I believe they fixed this issue in the most recent extension, but not sure if they did a retroactive fix. In Mass., you could earn some amount (was about $150 when I used it) that didn’t cause a decrease in your benefit. Some people were drawing max UI and reporting part-time work and didn’t qualify in Year 2 because they hadn’t made enough.

            • whitecat says:

              Or lives in a different state than you do.

        • fredbiscotti says:

          We did try that – it was called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The right called it a failure of big government spending. The left termed it not enough.

          And really, there isn’t any way that today’s federal government could directly manage hiring that many people, on that scale. Contracting the work out (which ARRA did) to existing employers was the most efficient way to put people back to work and dollars back into the economy.

        • Bunnies Attack! says:

          Probably because, just like any other program, people will cry that they don’t want to do this program because it’ll add to the deficit and/or that private companies can do the same job for less.

        • psm321 says:

          Why? Because all of our politicians are corporatists and instead want to send the money off to corps (e.g. ARRA)

      • whatsfair says:


    • LabanDenter says:

      couldn’t just hire people, you’d have to hire union labor. Instead of getting ~7.50/hr you get on unemployement, you’d have to pay 3-4x that, plus benefits, plus then you couldn’t fire them because they have union contracts. etc etc etc.

      • SinDex says:

        This is one of the issues in NJ. I am an AWS Certified Welder who is currently making a living as a CNC Machinist because the Union culture in NJ is so difficult to break into. At the beginning of 2010, I applied for Apprenticeships in the locals, Ironworkers, Boilermakers, Steamfitters and UA. Each Union was taking on between 10 and 15 apprentices for the year. For reference, their programs are typically 4 year Apprenticeships.

        At Boilermakers, I was told that they had had over 1,500 applications in a 2 week period for 12 positions. UA was worse, 2,200 applicants for 15 positions. These were the only positions I would qualify for as a new welder. As for finding private work rather than Union? Guess what the remaining people that didn’t get selected for an Apprenticeship are doing as well?

        We were told that the ARRA would create jobs, but all it did was line pockets.

        • SinDex says:

          A bit of an addendum, I spent almost 2 years on Unemployment after getting laid off from Saturn when the industry took a crap on it self and rolled around in it. As a C level tech, it was near impossible to find work. What did I do? I went back to school for Welding and Machining and was able to find a CNC Machining job right after graduating. Is it was I want to do for a living? Not really, but it pays the bills and puts porn on the table… erm… FOOD on the table.

      • OnePumpChump says:

        If you did it right, though, you’d have new infrastructure to support your economy for decades.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      The problem is, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was sold to us a means of rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. In my area, instead of putting it towards new sewers, replacing unsafe bridges, falling apart roads, etc. they primarily spent the grant money towards repaving large sections of interstate that were previously paved in 2006. Highly rated highway bridges (built in 1987) were also upgraded to 6 lanes even though they’re still connected to 4 lane highways.

      In the process, they were able to get an EPA and Army Corps waiver for several environmental permits because they wanted “boots on the ground” ASAP. My company handles these permits for our DOT and as a result, we had to lay people off because of these environmental waivers.

      The whole ARRA was and is a sham.

      Look at the monumental engineering projects of the 1930’s and compare them to what has been completed as a result of ARRA.

    • evnmorlo says:

      With heavy equipment armies of laborers are not needed. Professional construction workers already have a hard enough time finding work.

    • zzyzzx says:

      Sounds like Communism to me.

  2. Segador says:

    Unable to find work for 99 weeks? I’m sorry, I just don’t buy that. Unable to find the work they want, maybe.

    And hey, if you’re 42 or younger, the Army’s always hiring. It’s not just good experience, but depending on the career path you take, it can open the doors to seriously lucrative careers.

    • The Cynical Librarian says:

      It’s sad but true, a family member of mine who was laid off when the RV industry tanked in 08, was jobless for over a year. He’d interview and have jobs offered to him, but wouldn’t take them as they paid less than the unemployment he was receiving.

      • s73v3r says:

        Well, unemployment is already a lot less than what you made at your last job. If these jobs are paying less than unemployment, then they must be paying shit wages. Sounds like an asshat employer trying to get some good workers for cheap because of the economy. Either that or they just are low paying jobs, not in his career line.

    • MrBeetle says:

      Add in the 100-to-1 application/job ratio (Actually, one that I applied for was 5000 to 2), and the fact that employers (and temp agencies) would rather hire an already-employed person, and you start having issues.

      99 weeks is a while, but keep in mind that the “Actual” unemployment rate is probably close to 20%.

    • Tim says:

      The Army doesn’t hire everyone who’s 42 or under. It’s a little more complicate than that.

      Factor in the remote possibility that people have children and can’t just up and abandon them … among other factors.

      Yeah, the Army doesn’t quite work for everyone.

      • Segador says:

        I’ve seen it work for single, 40-year old mothers of young children. You’re right, though, joining the military isn’t for everyone, and isn’t an easy decision. My point is, options are available.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          I’m surprised they even allow single parents in.

          When I was a recruiter, it was possible but required a waiver and a very involved family support plan.

          • Jevia says:

            Yeah, I was wondering if the Army provides daycare for boot camp attendees. Otherwise, if one has no family able to care for one’s children, how can one join?

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              The way it used to be… They required a family support plan, with primary and secondary caregivers, who can be given power of attorney. The key is each soldier has to be deployable or it turns into a big mess, especially with single parents or women who become pregnant during pre-mob.

              I served in a grunt until which was nothing but guys, most of which were between 17 and 22. The only ones who had children were married and were upper NCOs. Even with this situation, we consistently lost about 1/3rd of our manpower when mobilizing due to various family, medical, and other issues.

          • Rose says:

            That is still what they require. It’s not easy to get in as a single parent. Certainly not the waltz that some posters are making it out to be.

            Now, they may have become single parents while already in the military, and that’s a much less complicated thing.

        • Aphex242 says:

          The terrifying point you seem to be missing is this:

          The military is already full of people who, for the most part, are lower income with little opportunity.

          We’re in two wars, and I’d argue a good part of the reason we’re in at least one of them is because wealthy kids aren’t involved.

          What you advocate (essentially ending unemployment insurance because the military is an option) is essentially a conscript army.

          Yikes, dude.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            “What you advocate (essentially ending unemployment insurance because the military is an option) is essentially a conscript army.”

            I completely agree with your sentiment and “join the Army” is definitely not social policy… However, after reading about young adults with $50,000 in student loans, working in absolutely awful, demeaning retail jobs with no benefits and low pay, etc. I do wonder why more people don’t consider the military as an alternative.

            All it takes is picking a technical job and serving a three year enlistment, and it can wipe out student loan debt, immediately start as an E-4, get decent benefits, etc. I served 7 years as a grunt in the Army and it was a tough but incredibly rewarding experience — liberating villages in Kosovo, as well as de facto concentration camps in Bosnia, and all of the high fives and hugs from civilians reminds me of what my grandfather went through when they liberated Paris. There was a lot of awfulness mixed in but I’m very proud of my service.

            Obviously the infantry isn’t for everyone but I’ve known many people who worked essentially 9-5 jobs as techs in the Air Force and Navy. I’m just amazed more people don’t take this into consideration, especially now with the Post-9/11 GI BiIl.

            • Aphex242 says:

              Oh I agree… for many individuals it makes a lot of sense. However, from a public policy perspective, the net results are a little chilling. Nice to see I’m not alone in that assessment.

            • s73v3r says:

              Because I’d rather be washing dishes for minimum wage than be a government murder machine.

          • Poisson Process says:

            We’re in more wars than that. Don’t forget Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

    • KittensRCute! says:

      consumerist you are supposed to provide INFORMATION not spread myths.

      unemployment benefits are for 26 weeks not 99. the people who got 99 have already been cut off. this is about whether in this economy 6 months is long enough to find work.

      furthermore, if EVERY SINGLE JOB was filled today FOUR OUT FIVE Unemployed americans would still be unemployed. there are FIVE TIMES as many applicants as there are jobs. in other words for 80% of the unemployed there really are no jobs.

      dont take my word for it.

      • dumpsterj says:

        holy crap this from the linked article you mention “The average weekly unemployment benefit in the U.S. is $302.90” weeekly ??? my wife brings home around $300-350 every TWO weeks working part time a mcdonalds. Im fortunate enough to have a very good job so its not killing us but hell youd have to be a sucker to take a shitty job and lose your benefits if they are really that much !!!

        • hansolo247 says:

          Some states have even higher amounts than that. I hear Boston tops out at over $900 per week.

          • jesusofcool says:

            If that were true (I don’t know if it is) I would make just as much if I quit my job and went on unemployment (I live and work in Boston). It’s tough for me to side on one side or another of the unemployment issue. On the one hand, I’m a recent college graduate and I managed to find a job, in my field, in the city I wanted, one week after graduation. I worked my butt off to do so. It yes, it really angers me to see others in their 20s living in their parents basements and collecting unemployment because they a) are way too picky about what job they will take b) made stupid life/educational/financial choices or c) are unwilling to move from mom and dad’s basement. I find it tough to have any sympathy for those people.
            But I do feel badly for the laid off single mother who can’t just pick up and move or people who trained in dying fields and I recognize that Congress can’t say “We will extend unemployment but only for those who circumstances warrant that they truly deserve it.”

          • RandomHookup says:

            Maximum unemployment benefits in Mass. are $625/week + an extra $25 a week from the feds. There is also a dependency allowance if you have kids at $25 a week, up to half your benefits. I guess you could get up to $900 if you have 12 kids.

            You can earn up to $100 a week and not have benefits decreased.

    • captadam says:

      Unless you’re gay, of course. And John McCain wants to keep it that way.

      • wonderkitty now has two dogs says:

        OPENLY gay. You’re permitted to lie to everyone in your life, and probably yourself, though. That’s what Mr. McCain wants. Battle readiness, my ass… any good soldier won’t let another soldier’s sexuality affect his or her job. I know my soldier husband doesn’t give a damn about personal crap. He just wants to work with someone who won’t get himself or anyone else in the unit killed.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Not possible for those who don’t qualify for basic training.

    • Rose says:

      People who have been out of work for 26 weeks are being cut off because there aren’t any jobs, jerkwad. Not 99 weeks because they’re lazy.

      • Chief CL says:

        26 Weeks is enough time to find a job.

        The problem is people can’t find “the job they want”.

        So they make the rest of us, who go to work everyday, pay incredible amounts of taxes, and don’t get those benefits from the Gov because we ACTUALLY HAVE A JOB even if we don’t like it, pay ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY BILLION DOLLARS a year to support them.

        I know that some cases are different. Disability is one thing. But you can’t sit here and tell me that the majority of the people who are claiming unemployment couldn’t at the very least, try harder to find ANY job.

        And please don’t sit here and tell me that you and your husband have been screwed by the government three times. I respect your husband and couldn’t even begin to thank him enough for his service, suffering, and pain that he has gone through…. but he knew the risks he was taking by going into service. You can’t blame the government that he is disabled.

        • Rose says:

          Wow, RTFP much? As I stated above, the three times is in reference to not paying enough disability to matter, allowing employers to openly discriminate against disabled applicants, and then refusing to extend benefits. If any of those things were fixed, we’d be okay. Ideally, though, all of those issues should be addressed.

          However, I call BS on the rest of your post. My husband is working with our state’s employment commission, a regional group, and a special VA unemployment guy, has applied at both Wal-Mart and MvDonald’s, and still has no job after 26 weeks. If three hard-working (Well, the state lady only works because we bug her so much, and the VA guy won’t look at anything labor-intensive because they don’t want to make his injury worse, but that’s okay, because he applies to those on his own.) employment specialists can’t find him a job, any job, then there isn’t a job for him right now. End of story.

          People do not want to hire a middle-aged disabled guy for those jobs. They prefer the five college students and post-high school kids that also applied for the very same jobs.

        • Rose says:

          Wow, RTFP much? As I stated above, the three times is in reference to not paying enough disability to matter, allowing employers to openly discriminate against disabled applicants, and then refusing to extend benefits. If any of those things were fixed, we’d be okay. Ideally, though, all of those issues should be addressed.

          However, I call BS on the rest of your post. My husband is working with our state’s employment commission, a regional group, and a special VA unemployment guy, has applied at both Wal-Mart and MvDonald’s, and still has no job after 26 weeks. If three hard-working (Well, the state lady only works because we bug her so much, and the VA guy won’t look at anything labor-intensive because they don’t want to make his injury worse, but that’s okay, because he applies to those on his own.) employment specialists can’t find him a job, any job, then there isn’t a job for him right now. End of story.

          People do not want to hire a middle-aged disabled guy for those jobs. They prefer the five college students and post-high school kids that also applied for the very same jobs.

        • Mephron says:

          So they make the rest of us, who go to work everyday, pay incredible amounts of taxes, and don’t get those benefits from the Gov because we ACTUALLY HAVE A JOB even if we don’t like it, pay ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY BILLION DOLLARS a year to support them.


          1) I’m laid off after ten years in a nice job in an office. I was making about $65K. My unemployment insurance payments – which I think I can say I paid a lot more than this in – are 26 weeks at about $370. That does not, in any way, match what I paid in.

          2) yes, because $160 billion that economic models show stimulates the economy and helps create jobs is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more evil and horrible and terrible than seven hundred billion dollars that the requested, nay even DEMANDED, renewal of tax breaks for income over $250,000 will add to the deficit in the same time frame.

          The Republican party is showing a level of two-faced lying stabbing of their constituency that hasn’t been seen since a Roman said, ‘et tu, Brute?’. They say they want to lower the deficit, but they want to add almost a trillion onto it by keeping the Bush-era tax cuts without commensurate payment… but people out of work can take it up the bum.

          It’s a screwing over that rivals that done to the Native Americans… Chief CL.

    • Poisson Process says:

      I’d rather starve to death than kill innocent civilians. Don’t tell me we’re fighting for freedom and security, these wars have made us less secure and so paranoid that we’re giving up our freedoms.

    • Rose says:

      Also, those ‘lucrative’ doors aren’t open to people like my husband, who is a disabled veteran of the United States Marine Corps and, like many disabled veterans, can’t get a job because of his disability.

      Screwed three times over by our government…

      • Package Man says:

        I thank your husband for his service and I am truly sorry for his disability, but all members of the military know that they run that risk when they sign up, so he didn’t get screwed by the government on that one nor am I implying he screwed himself, it was simply a hazard of the job. I’m sure he’s getting disability payments from the VA, although I would bet they aren’t huge.

      • Rose says:

        I wasn’t including his initial disability in that list, Package Man. That was a known risk, and could have been alot worse. He could be dead, for instance.

        The three times is in reference to not paying enough disability to matter, allowing employers to openly discriminate against disabled applicants, and then refusing to extend benefits. If any of those things were fixed, we’d be okay. Ideally, though, all of those issues should be addressed.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          The disability is definitely going to make it tough to get a job. It’s no secret that it’s not in the best financial interest of a small or medium sized business to hire somebody with medical problems or anything that will drive up group rates. It’s awful but it’s not going to change any time soon.

    • Rose says:

      The person who stated that they allow single parents is wrong. They sometimes accept candidates with very high scores (or willing to take a really crappy MOS) provided that they have someone else who is willing to provide care for your child/ren when they ship you overseas. You have to give that person power-of-attorney and have your plan approved before they’ll take you, IF they do. Contrary to popular belief, they’re not taking anyone and everyone right now.

    • whatsfair says:

      another misinformed Unemployment attacker.

      This Republican cruelty — cuts off ALL Unemployed who have collected only 26 weeks of state benefits.

      So easy to find a job? – when there are more than 5 to 1 applicants available to any job – not including those not qualified for many of those jobs. And apparently there are few if no job offers for most over age 50.

    • El_Fez says:

      Bullshit – I’ve been out of work for a year and a half and NO jobs are returning my calls. Even the shit jobs flipping burgers wont touch me.

      Right now, I would take *ANY*thing. Dig a ditch? Answer phones? Ask “Would you like fries with that”? – I would be all over any job like stink on shit, but I just cant get an interview let alone an actual job/

      • spamtasticus says:

        Buy a pressure washer and go around door to door asking people if they would like you to pressure wash their driveway or house or shed etc. Go door to door asking if you can cut their grass in exchange for payment. Have you considered moving to another area that may have better prospects? Have you asked the manager of the library you are sitting in surfing the web for free if they have positions? Just wondering how hard you are trying.

      • spamtasticus says:

        Just wondering if you have showed up at any companies asking for jobs or if by “The have not returned my calls” you mean to say that you just sat on a couch calling people to see if they where offering work.

      • Floobtronics says:

        Here’s where I call BS. If my wife’s two little brothers can find a job, so can you. They’re 21 and 23, both have jobs, both in retail, but they are jobs.

        • ludwigk says:

          You *DO* know that hiring managers won’t touch you if you’re highly over-qualified, right? If you have a master’s degree and 8 years of professional experience (doing almost anything), entry-jobs will not even look at you because they know that you don’t want or need that job. Hiring is not just about qualifications, but about finding a good fit for the position, and minimizing turnover.

          College grads and young people with little experience are hungry and willing to stick it out with shit jobs longer. Experienced professionals and middle managers can have a really rough time finding a job because the entire lower-end market (say, jobs paying less than $50-60,000/yr) are completely cut off from them.

          When I left my job to pursue grad studies (at the depths of the recession 1.5 years ago), I watched my boss and boss’s boss weed through hundreds of resumes and conduct dozens of interviews to replace me, even though my job was not that amazing. They knew it was an extreme hirer’s market so they would have their pick; the challenge was wading through the avalanche of resumes. People with lots of experience, or who worked far above my pay grade were cut immediately because those people would “get bored” with the job, or expect/want more than it offered in terms of responsibilities.

          • rmorin says:

            While you are correct for “hiring managers” the vast majority or retail/food service/manual labor jobs do not have those. You think retail/food service/manual labor managers are picking apart resumes?? Heck no, they usually only requiring you to fill out the application and indicate when you are available to work. I’ve worked random jobs in between contracts in things like food service and being an usher at sports arena and I have a masters degree and am working on my doctorate. They don’t care, you just fill out an application and tell them when you are available.

            So yes, if you are applying to a job that has a “hiring manager” and you are over qualified then you’ll probably not be looked at. However after 99 weeks, you have to be willing to apply to the job that does not care about your accomplishments and justs needs a warm body for a shift.

            • Rose says:

              We’re not talking about after 9 weeks. We’re talking about after 26 weeks, which would take the extension to 99 weeks. After 99 weeks, you’re cut off, no matter next. Next, maybe you live somewhere with jobs, but many of us do not. So we’re screwed, and you’re a jerk.

              • rmorin says:

                Thanks for calling me a jerk because you disagree with me, it shows you are really open and level-headed about your debates.
                My point stands and you did not refute it, meaning that you likely can’t. Unless you live in a 1 stoplight town, with the next closest town being 40 miles away I can 100% promise you there are menail jobs available. Menial jobs often do not require resumes, just applications, and certainly do not have “hiring managers” picking apart resumes. So to say “I’m too qualified for to flip burgers” is not accurate. Yes, you can be overqualified for entry level positions, and your application will be passed over, but retail/food service/labor jobs are not usually considered entry level career path jobs, instead they are just in need of a warm body for a shift.

          • u1itn0w2day says:

            I’ve seen the over qualified thing alot. But what puzzles me is that I know people who are overqualified simply because they have work experience and some college. Even worse is that many of these supposed entry level jobs that don’t want the over qualified are high turn-over to begin with. Maybe they’re high turn-over because by hiring those they consider qualified don’t have the qualifications or experience to advance. New citizens/immigrants are no dummies either. They know when they’re not being payed enough or there are choices.

            I do think that many ask for too much in the begining on the application. If you put you want full-time when the choices are also part-time , seasonal or temporary the employer might think you have grandiose expections. If you just ask for part-time or temporary work in the begining you might eventually get full-time or at least extra hours. But there’s another kicker. You have to put 24/7 availability on the application just to get looked at. So if you have another pt job or are in school sometimes getting that 2nd or 3rd 20 hour a week job can be tough.

            There are those that want a change and can afford because they lived under their means and banked money. Also many are forced to change to the lack of advanced training or certifications/licensing of somekind-a career in their previous industry is dead in the water. The assumption that many will go back to the industry they came from is not always true. In south Florida until the late 90s you could’ve gotten a job almost anywhere even in retail coming from a white or blue collar career. Then most industries started using/abusing the immigrant population to keep wages low and the hiring of ex professional/US citizen to a minimum.

            Point being is to not ask for too much when applying for a lower paying job. Just ask for part time and hopefully your performance will get you extra hours,pay and fulltime.

        • mandy_Reeves says:

          yes, meaning they have little to no experience which makes them a better fit for retail…college grads or other professionals get passed over in favor of the inexperienced younger people. Certain folks I know, have been to the malls every other day, checking up on job apps and hitting all the retail and fast food places. NO ONE WILL HIRE THEM. They happen to be a college grad with supervisor experience helping out in Americorp

    • Floobtronics says:

      Agreed. I was laid off in March of 2007, having been given 4 weeks notice. My last day at that job was March 17, 2007. My first day at my next job was March 19, 2007. I was unemployed for a day. A day. Ok, that was 2007, this is 2010. Should it happen again, would I find work in less than half a year? You better believe it.

      I know a guy who’s had a pretty bad run of things, having been laid off about the same time I was in 2007, and then a couple of more times at subsequent companies. He did whatever he had to do in order to keep the bills paid between “real” jobs, including working construction jobs (and he’s not a big guy by any stretch), bar tending, working the door at a strip club, even working at Walmart. These days, he’s back in the saddle, working in what he’d call a “real” job, and never spent a day on unemployment, didn’t have his house foreclosed on, didn’t cry “boo hoo, poor me, hey mr. president, extend my unemployment forever!”

      I’ve got a great deal of respect for him because of that.

    • evnmorlo says:

      The army can afford to be selective nowadays. And a lot of vets end up homeless and/or suicidal which is on the whole only a slight improvement from being unemployed.

    • Mamudoon says:

      “And hey, if you’re 42 or younger, the Army’s always hiring.”

      Yeah – provided you don’t have or have ever had any serious medical conditions. I wanted to sign up for the armed forces to do some behind-the-scenes desk work that I figured I could manage (at least somewhat) with my multiple illnesses. No can do. They won’t even consider me.

      I’m in the trenches of applying for disability now. Hell, I was fired from a place that advocates for the rights of disabled people in the workplace for hurting my back and needing a week out of the (very physically-demanding) back file room to recuperate. I was given a great review and a raise a month earlier, so it wasn’t like I was screwing off and they were just looking to get rid of me.

      Yeah. Advocates, my ass. I’d love to have a job – sitting around doing nothing all day sucks and is lonely as hell. But if THEY couldn’t accommodate me, who will?

    • TheSurlyOne says:

      You just don’t buy that, huh? Perhaps you’d see things quite differently after being employed for 99 weeks or more and unable to find regular (or any) employment!!!

      I lost my full-time job in May 2008 and haven’t been able to land a job in my field or ANY other! I’ve submitted thousands of resumes and only had eight responses in 2+ years! I’m 35, educated and have a very consistent and stable work history for the 15 years preceding my layoff. Prior to my 2008 layoff, I have landed the job at EVERY single interview I’ve ever had since college. Because I previously held a management-level position and earned $75k per year, I’m constantly told that I’m overqualified or that they don’t think I would be happy doing the job for which I’m applying!? I’ve applied for jobs that pay as little as $10 per hour and would be grateful to get one…

      Fortunately, I have enough marketable skills to land some consulting gigs (IT and accounting-related). That’s the only way I’ve managed to survive financially without turning to my parents for help, which they’ve offered and I may end up needing it yet! I’m already living in their rental property (the house next door to them) and they won’t accept a penny of rent.

      TRUST ME, this is NOT where I planned or expected to be in my mid-30s!!!

      As for your Army suggestion, several folks have suggested that to me and I met with a recruiter to discuss the possibilities. Because I had major spinal surgery back in 2005, I am automatically disqualified from consideration by any branch of the armed forces! By the way, the surgeon mandated a recovery period of 4-6 weeks before returning to work from that surgery….and I returned to work in 12 days against his advice and of my own volition! I’m clearly not lazy and have a very strong work ethic….

      Not to be religious (because I’m not), but the saying- “There, but for the grace of God, go I” is something you should think about….

  3. MrBeetle says:

    This should read “Jobless for 26 weeks”, not “Jobless for 99 weeks”. The 99 weekers are already cut off. The 26 weekers are the ones to be cut off.

    If only congress had a means to pay for the extension, then the republicans would let it pass. But the extra Bush tax cuts for the wealthy – those need to stay in place. Umm… just because. And the earmarks as well. Anything but the tax cuts and the earmarks. We need to cut somewhere to make up the extra money. But not defense, either. So, anything but the tax cuts, the earmarks, and defense.

    • Kavatar says:

      This is the problem with secondary news reporting. There’s too much possibility for introducing misinformation. Very few people I’ve seen who oppose renewing the unemployment benefit extensions realize that they’re not being extended past 99 weeks; they’re being extended past 26 weeks.

    • hansolo247 says:

      Yes, it is totally hypocritical.

      One thing being left out of the debate entirely is capital gains taxes for very wealthy individuals. There is no talk of raising those.

      The focus on the debate is the relative handful at the highest marginal tax on wages.

      But, then again, defense is required by the Constitution (and even now, we don’t have the forces to do that as we’ve fallen into the Nazi Germany strategy of having only a handful of the best equipment money can buy). General Welfare only has to be promoted. They are not synonyms.

  4. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I have an ex-coworker who fits into this category. I’ve also been diligent about checking for better jobs in my industry, and she has had a plethora of opportunities. I know this doesn’t apply to everyone; but, I promise for some this will just be the needed motivation to actually get a job.

    • c!tizen says:

      I’ve got the perfect motivation. If you’re found to have passed up a job that you applied for and are qualified and capable of doing and pays at least 80% of what your previous job paid, then you have to pay back 100% of the extended benefits plus a 10% penalty on the total amount of extended benefits you received once you take a job. And the benefits can only be extended 26 weeks.

      The down side to this is that a lot of companies will end up taking advantage and offering wages 20% lower than what they’re worth because they know there are people out there who will have no choice but to take it.

      • allknowingtomato says:

        This will cause the prevailing wage to just drop by 20% (unless already close to min. wage in that field).

        I like the idea that you work for your unemployment, WPA style. Paid time off for interviews (bring a note back to the WPA ppl to prove you weren’t “smoking on the porch” or whatever people think all unemployed people are doing), and put people to work fixing our crumbling infrastructure.

        New home sales are down, i’m sure there are lots of contractors/construction people who could use work, and we could do for some upgrades around this country.

    • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

      I had a parasite ex-friend who was on unemployment after being fired (not laid off) from his job and absolutely refused to look for another job until his roommate threatened to kick him out if he didn’t at least try to get some work. The parasite came up with excuse after excuse from “but my wrist is broken” (due to a drunken stunt) to “but I’ll have to take the bus.” He claimed he couldn’t get work with a broken wrist, but he could play video games, cook, and work on his car.

      Unfortunately, there are people out there who just suck on the system like this. I know that there are many, many places in our society that are under-staffed but can’t pay for workers and/or need volunteers, and that in order to get jobless benefits, these folks should be working at these places. Of course, as mentioned above, PTO for interviews, as well as help building a resume.

      There are people out there who genuinely cannot find work, but our jobless benefits would not be nearly as expensive if we were less permissive with those who just want to leech off society.

      • Mecharine says:

        Its true that some people siphon money off like that. But is that enough to say to the rest that they shouldn’t receive benefits while unemployed?

  5. dolemite says:

    I’ve had a friend that has been on unemployment for about a year now.

    While I’m working 50-60 hours a week, he’s sitting on his front porch smoking all day and watching tv. He’s looking for work, but not *that* hard. He could have a job any time he wants, just not in the field he wants it in.

    • keepher says:

      Sorry, but the reason you are working 50 to 60 hrs a week is because its cheaper for your employer to pay you time and a half than to hire on someone new. Add in that so many are unemployed so can not afford to partake of what your company is offering it makes it difficult to take the step of hiring new help.

      Its a vicious circle, don’t want to manufacture because no one is buying because they are unemployed which keeps companies from hiring.

      • jason in boston says:

        Who said that he doesn’t enjoy working 50 – 60 hours? If salaried, that sucks. If hourly, I would take that in an instant.

        • dolemite says:

          It’s salary. And up about 10-15 hours over what we are normally required to work.

          • jason in boston says:

            Oooo…then perhaps it’s time to either review your overall compensation or start some job hunting.

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              I also work in the 50 – 60 hr/week ballpark. The job market is brutal out there and working all that extra unpaid time absolutely sucks but at least it’s a paycheck.

              • dolemite says:

                Yup. It’s a blessing and a curse. The employers are really taking advantage of the market. Instead of hiring staff, just make all your salary people work overtime because you know they are too scared to leave.

                • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                  Yeah, it’s definitely rough.

                  At my job, salaried workers are all putting in a lot of extra time. Most of our hourly staff has been laid off and those who are left cycle between billable time and partial unemployment. We no longer have the incoming contracts to sustain them with indirect time in the lag between projects.

                  It’s tough but my company is in no way profiting from the situation. We’re running on about 50% of the revenue that we had back in ’08. We’re reaching the point that we’re intentionally underbidding projects at a loss, just so we can keep people employed.

      • ellemdee says:

        At my last job, whenever they knew someone was going to leave, they just made everyone else work 10 hours a week extra instead of hiring a replacement.

        My current job pays less than straight time for OT. I work it if asked/required, but I don’t exactly volunteer my evenings and weekends for less that my normal pay.

      • RandomHookup says:

        That’s even assuming overtime is in the picture. Lots of companies pushing their current exempt employees as hard as they can right now.

    • theycallmeGinger says:

      Sadly, this is often the case. Nobody wants to be unemployed yet no one is willing to downgrade. The economy has downgraded, so it’s time to follow suit. I didn’t lose my job, thank god, but I did get a permanent pay cut and a stagnated salary for 3 years. I’m currently paid less than I was hired for 4 years ago, yet I work more hours than ever. Again, very happy to have a job, but sitting at home all day for half of what I was making in 2009 sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

      An ex-coworker has been on unemployment for quite a while. He is “sort of” looking, but it’s a better deal for him to stay home with his twin toddlers instead of working & paying for daycare. Yeah, he’s gaming the system a little, but I can’t say I wouldn’t if I were in his place. If unemployment were less susceptible to abuse, people wouldn’t abuse it so much.

    • s73v3r says:

      The flip side to that story is that it can be very damaging to your career to take a job not in the field, especially one that pays lower (like retail).

  6. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    Do you know the difference between unemployment benefits and welfare? Phil obviously doesn’t.

    • Griking says:

      Meh, they’re both free handouts that should have limits as to how long you can receive them.

      • KittensRCute! says:

        actually, no. unemployment insurance is paid either out of your pay check or the taxes your employer pays to the state for employing you. unemployment benefits are no more a hand out than filing a claim with your car or home insurance after something happens. really when the consumerist become a beacon of lies and false talking points.

        • allknowingtomato says:

          Since Phil confirmed my suspicion that he is in fact an arbitrarily large number of monkeys with laptops.

          Close, but no cigar, monkeys!

        • PunditGuy says:

          This is federal taxpayer money that’s being spent on the extension. Your “insurance” explanation accounts for the first 26 weeks of benefits — that’s what the premiums are set up to enable, and that’s what the program was designed to do. The extension is a transfer from taxpayers to the unemployed. It’s the very definition of welfare.

          I’m actually okay with that. I have no problem with giving people a leg up when they need it. But not one of the people getting benefits past 26 weeks should be able to talk in a derogatory fashion about welfare ever again without being forced to wear a scarlet H (hypocrite) on their foreheads.

      • leprechaunshawn says:

        Does The Consumerist have a “like” button, because I like this. But why stop at limits? How about enforcing some requirements too? You want welfare – be drug free. I have to be drug free to earn money at my job. Why shouldn’t a welfare recipient also have to be drug free to “earn” their share of my money?

      • Jevia says:

        Welfare does have absolute time limits, put in place by Clinton. There’s also a household income requirement for welfare, which there isn’t for unemployment (only an individual wage limit). Also, unemployment is limited to some extent by one’s work history. If one hasn’t worked long enough, one doesn’t get unemployment.

        So yes, there are limits.

      • NYGuy1976 says:

        Don’t you while your working have unemployment insurance taken out of your paycheck? Isn’t the majority of unemployment payments paid by your previous employer? The government or taxpayers might put in a little but comparing it to welfare is wrong.

  7. Cicadymn says:

    Jobless for 6 and a half months? That’s tough to do. I wonder if the welfare payments are more than 40 hours a week minimum wage?

    • allknowingtomato says:

      Welfare and unemployment are two completely different programs that serve 2 different purposes.

      Don’t let Phil make you stupid.

    • Rose says:

      No, in many cases they pay less, but it’s generally average. Of course, people who are receiving benefits (at least in Oklahoma) have to participate in a variety of programs designed to find you work. They also apply for jobs on your behalf, and track to see if you’re offered a position. It’s not easy to game the system, and believe me, we’d rather be working.

    • Rose says:

      Also, it’s not tough to do. In case you hadn’t noticed, unemployment is very high right now, even by the government’s conservative estimate.

    • KittensRCute! says:

      unemployment is anywhere from $180 to over $400 a week depending on your state, past income and state. but the national average is $300 a week.

      actual welfare, of which unemployment is not is $145 a MONTH in my state and thats about the range the national average in is $154 a MONTH. there is a HUGE DIFFERENCE. if you think its the good life feel free to quit your job and do it.

    • Alisha Gray says:

      I was on unemployment for a while (underemployed) and was receiving about $100 per week. Then of course if I did work – my job had me coming in for four hours a month – it would be less than that.

      By the way, how do I redeem this thing for one free internet?

  8. Corinthos says:

    I say about time. I have two friends who got laid off earlier this year. they get to just sit home and play games because the jobs they can get don’t pay as much as the unemployment. Which is fine when unemployment used to not be for so long. Now its about time you suck it up and take the pay cut and go back to work.

    • Kavatar says:

      Two of my friends are lazy, therefore the rest of the 2 million who will be cut off must also be lazy!

      • dolemite says:

        Considering everyone I know on unemployment is exactly the same way…I’d say the chances are pretty good.

        Why go find a demeaning job that pays less than unemployment when you can sit at home and watch tv/game all day on the state’s dime?

        • Kavatar says:

          Because the benefits are going to run out some time, even with the extensions. If you want to argue that unemployment should not be extended because nobody uses/needs that extra time, then fine, but you’re gonna have to do more than just cite your own anecdotal evidence.

    • Package Man says:

      I can’t find the news story, but I recall reading one last year about people in California outright refusing work because it paid less than they were making on employment. So not only are some people like your friends lazy, others are outright moochers.

      • VeganPixels says:

        Let me Google the source of that story for you:

      • Illusio26 says:

        Same with me. I know at least 2 people that said they were almost making as much on unemployment as they did working. So they were going to “milk it for all its worth”

      • pot_roast says:

        After California is done hosing you tor taxes, it’s true. I was in that situation a few years ago. It was a)take a job that pays way less than what I was making before, get hosed for taxes, and make less than I was on unemployment or b)remain on unemployment.

        I chose B – but I did continue to find a job and I was only out of work for a couple of months. I’m still amazed by these people that are out of work for 2+ years. Sadly, many of them do bring it on themselves…

  9. pikebike says:

    I had a roommate that was on unemployment for 8 months because it was more money than he needed to survive on, and was able to sit at home and watch tv all day while getting paid to do it. he eventually decided to go to grad school when our lease ended.

    99 weeks of unemployment? more like 99 weeks of paid vacation.

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      What you and the other “OMG GET A JOB YOU LAZY FUCKS” commenters are missing is that for everyone that abuses the system (and I’d say ‘not taking a job because it’d be a pay cut from the already lousy unemployment benefits’ isn’t abuse) there are 99 people who see it for what it is – a temporary situation to be availed of until a different job can be found.

      What you *really* want is for unemployment benefits to go away in the name of “OMG WE’RE SO SOCIALIST”. Why don’t we get rid of social security while we’re at it? Medicare/Medicaid? Food assistance? We’ll have babies and seniors starving in the streets, but at least we won’t be OMG SOCIALIST!

      Unemployment benefits provide the most bang-for-the-buck when you’re trying to recover from a recession. There are many many other things that should be cut first – like the two wars we’re fighting for no reason whatsoever.

      • Aphex242 says:

        Don’t forget we gotta get rid of state schools too, because that’s totally socialist.

        • allknowingtomato says:

          And the road system.

          “whaaaa? you mean they’re paid for with taxes? and EVERYONE can use them?! SOCIALIST!!!!”

        • JulesNoctambule says:

          And firefighters, police, parks, museums, municipal water, municipal sewers, sidewalks, stop signs, city-run WiFi, so on and so forth — all that useless SOCIALIST crap that takes MY TAX DOLLAAAARRSS! and no one else’s.

      • Southern says:

        I would love to get rid of Social Security, actually. They’ve been taking 15% of my paycheck (for Social Security & Medicare) for 25+ years, and while I’m still no where near retirement age, I know that I’ll probably never see a dime of it back. They keep raising the age (they’re talking about raising it to 70 now!)

        I’d probably be able to retire on my own if I had been putting 15% of my paycheck into an IRA and/or CDs all these years, rather than just forking it over to the government and letting them do whatever with it, then changing the age at which point they’re going to start giving it back to me, etc.

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      So of course that means that EVERYONE who gets unemployment is lazy, right? Try living on UI with a family. Your example is the exception, not the rule.

      There just aren’t that many jobs out there, even at minimum wage. What part of that do you not understand?

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      Unemployment can make things seem like a vacation but the stress and uncertainty weighs on alot of those on unemployment comp. Many were caught by surprise and never made any serious plans in their life other than what bar they were going to on Fri night. Many boxed themselves in by overspending/living above their means. Many were brought up through the schools, their peers and/or society that a career is more important than having a job. It’s takes many a long time to realize at a certain point they’re going to have to give up their search for ‘ a career ‘ and just get a job.

      The job applicants and even those employed today are feeling the effect of DECADES of downsizing & outsourcing. And corporate HRs. It’s not going to turn around overnight or if an ex 100K year executive flips burgers. Throw in the current corporate HR mindset that they shouldn’t hire a 50K a year careerist for a 20K a year job because they’re overqualified and leave too soon even the job they’re hiring for has a high turnover rate. In the meantime the 20k a year opening remains open and the unemployed guy is still unemployed.

      The unemployed person needs to realize they need ‘a’ job and the HRs/employers have to realize that’s all this person wants: is a job, not a 30 year career at their company which they have no business promising or implying.

  10. kingofmars says:

    Enter text…

  11. cmdr.sass says:

    Since the government reported that the recession ended in June, there’s no longer any reason to extend benefits.

  12. KittensRCute! says:

    consumerist you are supposed to provide INFORMATION not spread myths.

    unemployment benefits are for 26 weeks not 99. the people who got 99 have already been cut off. this is about whether in this economy 6 months is long enough to find work.

    furthermore, if EVERY SINGLE JOB was filled today FOUR OUT FIVE Unemployed americans would still be unemployed. there are FIVE TIMES as many applicants as there are jobs. in other words for 80% of the unemployed there really are no jobs.

    dont take my word for it.

    • tungstencoil says:

      You do realize the statistic you quote, in the article you link to, is supported circularly? In other words, they quote their own research and footnote it for virtually every graph and statistic quoted in their article, including the one you quote. I’m not sure that I’d consider that definitive.

  13. Mulva says:

    Let’s learn a lesson here from Denmark and France – if you pay them not to work, they won’t look for work…

    • zombiedictator says:

      Except those countries also have national health care. If you’re unemployed and broke you’re leg, chances are you’ll be either bankrupt or paying that off for the next 5 years like a car payment.

      • Mulva says:

        True, it is hard to compare apples to oranges when you factor in health care and a situation like the one you’ve brought up, but can we afford to enable everyone for a small percentage who may or may not get sick? And with the cost of our health care, if you’re unemployed you’re probably not paying for it anyways – even Cobra is costly (it sure was when I used it), and if I were to weight my mortgage against insurance, I would pay my mortgage.

        • JulesNoctambule says:

          It’s not only that they might ‘get sick’; as in the example above your comment, what if they slip and break their leg? What if their kid breaks a leg? What if the ‘sick’ they get isn’t pneumonia, but cancer? Is it really just to require that some people must choose between providing for themselves and their families and accessing health care?

    • ludwigk says:

      But just as salient – there are very few jobs right now. Companies aren’t hiring because consumption is down. This reduces the number of jobs from importing to shipping to manufacturing, raw materials, all the way to retail. Companies won’t hire until there is demand. If you do not pay benefits, the unemployed won’t buy anything. If people don’t buy anything, companies won’t hire anyone. If they don’t hire anyone, the unemployed stay unemployed.

      I totally get that perpetual handouts breed entitlement and reduce self-sufficiency, but economically speaking, welfare and unemployment benefits are extremely stimulative. ALL of that money gets spent in a very short time.

      @ other part of this thread – guys, it’s really not about health care!

  14. zombiedictator says:

    I’m honestly surprised so many people here are just shouting “shut up and take any job, you over-privileged pricks”.

    I got laid off on November 3rd. I’ll be at the unemployment office Monday. Could I get a job at Home Depot paying $8 an hour tomorrow? Probably, but then you’d be bitching when I got foreclosed on because I should have taken any job, even if it means I can’t afford to pay for home and shelter.

    I admit, 99 weeks seems excessive, and I have a friend who waking up at noon from partying until 4AM Tuesday afternoon whose bills are so low unemployment pays for him. I got an uncle who was so incredibly overpaid he was making 3x more than fair market value and he can’t find that illusionary job anymore. But I also know people that simply want to work in the industry they were kicked out of and are not willing to reset the clock on their resume because they know they’ll never be able to recover from it, or they simply don’t want to feed their children ramen noodles until a real recovery happens.

    When I go to the unemployment office, I expect to get about $1300 a month. After taxes, closer to $1100. After COBRA, closer to $400.

    $400 a month to live on.

    Yeah, these long-term unemployed have it made.

    • Aphex242 says:

      *clap* excellent post. Way to add some clarity to this stupid conversation. The bottom line is being unemployed sucks, for like 95% of people.

    • allknowingtomato says:

      +1. This needs to be said.

      I love that the same people screaming on Consumerist about not defaulting on your mortgage or your credit card bills in other posts are now screaming that you should take another pay cut on top of the pay cut that unemployment already is, even if it makes you unable to cover your liabilities.

      Which is worse, temporarily unemployed people paying their mortgages and cc bills, or technically employed people defaulting on everything because their lifestyle was adjusted to their previous salary and they can no longer pay for it?

      Being on unemployment is already a huge pay cut, especially if you then pay for COBRA health coverage. It also makes you feel shitty to be on the dole. I wonder how many people complaining about their lazy relatives/friends or spewing other anectdotal bitchery have ever been in that exact situation.

      Sectors have shrank. there are physically more people needing jobs than there are jobs. It is mathematically false that everyone could just suck it up and be employed at any level if they wanted, and many people here would not make the financially imprudent choice of switching industries facing the same situation when another week on unemployment could get them their ‘old’ job back. Lots of people think they are “better” than the unemployed when, frequently, they are only VERY lucky by comparison never to have to make these decisions.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Great post!

      It pretty much describes the situation I was in about 9 years ago.

    • Rose says:

      My husband is a disabled veteran of the United States Marine Corps, and nobody wants to hire a disabled guy. He used to work in IT, but since the recession, all of the IT jobs are going to people with degrees. (Because it’s an employer’s market now, and graduates are happy to work for what my husband used to work for.)

      He’s working with our state’s employment commission, a special Veteran’s Employment guy, a local employment group, and still no job. And yes, he applied at both Wal-Mart and McDonald’s. Our 26 weeks is up next Monday, so we’ll eventually be foreclosed on (Our mortgage is $545 a month, which is cheaper than any rent I’ve ever paid, by the way, just for the ‘Your home is too expensive!’ group.), thus fueling a new and lower cycle of this recession.

      Smart, Congress! Smart!

    • areaman says:

      Could I get a job at Home Depot paying $8 an hour tomorrow? Probably…

      Even ‘low level’ or entry level jobs are hard to find. And without telling the truth about work history a lot of people will be turned down by fast food places and the like for being over qualified.

      Over all a great post. Either some people are crazy or they really think $1300 a month without working is ‘having it made’ (which is crazy as well).

    • dr_drift says:

      Great post, rational and informative. I’d love to meet the hundreds of thousands of people out there who are apparently partying it up and lazing around on the state’s dime, maybe they could have shared their secrets with me. My wife, daughter and I were just barely scraping by on my measly unemployment and my wife’s salary. When benefits weren’t extended the other day, we crapped. Luckily, within hours of hearing that they wouldn’t be extended any time soon, I got a call back from a previous interview offering me the job. Hooray, I’m out, but I really do feel for the people still in it.

  15. macoan says:

    The unemployment system is BROKEN.

    When I was laid off and went on unemployment back in 2001 – I had job offers, and I knew I could got get a job any time I wanted at many fast food and/or Wal-mart – but they ALL paid less then what I was making off unemployment – so it made more sense to stay on unemployment.

    I was again laid off at the end of 2009 – but I was lucky after 5 months to land a job that did pay more then unemployment, so I’m employed again.

    They need to FIX unemployment so it actually ENCOURAGES people to get a job.

    How you ask?

    Simple. (And these numbers are made up from the top of my head – a little more planning to get correct numbers would be needed.)

    When a person goes on unemployment, then have unemployment offer a bonus if they find a job quickly. For example – lets say someone can find a new job and get off unemployment in under a month – then once they hold that job for 6 months, they will get a $5,000 bonus (Money that unemployment would have paid them if they would not have found a job.) Find a job within 2 months, then $4,000 bonus…. and so on.

    (again, numbers are made up from the top of my head – possible use something like “average length of unemployment – %50 of pay as bonus” – or something like that.

    Point is – encourage people to get to work.

    • KittensRCute! says:

      that is actually a good idea. a very good idea. in fact it would save money, end the debate once and for all about the unemployed being lazy and get those who CAN find jobs to take it.

      and for all those reasons, itll never happen. the current political system is such that good ideas like these never happen.

      its all about the bad ideas. bad ideas like free money to the banks or the US giving banks loans for infinite amount of cash at 0% and then borrowing it back at 3%, US companies paying HUGE taxes to import to china but allowing china to import goods tax free are the norm, despite just how bad and stupid, those things are.

    • diesel54 says:

      That is a good, simple and logical idea. If only the people we pay could come up with something like that.

  16. allknowingtomato says:

    Damnit Phil…

    “2 Million Jobless Wave Goodbye To Welfare”

    Welfare!= Unemployment Benefits. This glaring inaccuracy between the title and the body of the article makes you sound ignorant and elitist (“Meh, they’re all gubmint benefits I’m not on. Same diff.”) At the very least, It makes you look like you don’t care enough to try at your job. Please fix.

  17. rayblasdel says:

    I’m a single white male making less then 20k a year without health insurance. When do I get my 2 years of free money and healthcare? The lack of responsibility in this country makes me sick.

    • captadam says:

      When do you get that “free” money? When you lose that job and can’t find another. It could happen to you. I hope it doesn’t, but it might. If it does, I hope you do file for unemployment. At that point, you’ll be glad you have that option.

      • rayblasdel says:

        My work doesn’t lay off people, they just force you to come in for one hour a week till you quit. They joys of being non-salary.

        • Lenin's Tomb says:

          So, you work retail. Because that sounds like the MO of most retail I’ve worked at. Bet you that retail would not hire half the unemployed folks out there. The ones they do hire will either be seasonal or subjected to screwy hours so that they can’t pay bills or take care of families.
          Retail is a shit job. Why not take unemployment and look for a job? I would choose that option rather than work anywhere from 20 to 39.999 hours a week so I can find something that pays enough to live on. Most folks here are not single white males able to support themselves on crappy retail positions.

    • Rose says:

      When you get laid off of work because your business can no longer afford to pay you because all of the people who used to purchase their products or services were cut off of unemployment.

      Tell you what, you take the 26 weeks of benefits, in which you have to submit to job searches, orientation classes, testing, and so on, and you can give my disabled veteran husband your job, okay? Great. When can he start?

    • El_Fez says:

      Hmmm, let me think of how to say this without being disemvowled. . . .

      Fuck you, elitist snob. I would take ANY job right now, but they just do not exist.

    • s73v3r says:

      You’re an idiot. If you truly are making less than 20k, then you should qualify for Medicaid. There’s your healthcare. And while we’re at it, what the fuck did you do to attempt making more than 20k? Did you go to college? Did you get a degree? What in?

    • KittensRCute! says:

      well you can get fired and take the 12k a year unemployment extentions would have paid although with that salary you might get less or more depending on your state. i recieved 236 a week and made more than you do, until i found a job, part time paying a bit more. i have a BA and 2 years of grad school. that is before taxes and DOES NOT include health benefits of ANY kind so i have no idea where you got the idea that that includes health benefits.

    • Rose says:

      I didn’t notice the healthcare part… In what dream world does unemployment cover health care? And, no, 20k or less a year does not qualify one for Medicaid.

  18. Southern says:

    Unless Congress acts quickly, unemployment benefits will stop cold for 2 million Americans who have been jobless for 99 weeks.

    As several here have already pointed out, unless congress acts, the Unemployment Benefit will return to a 26-week maximum, so anyone in their 27th to 99th week of unemployment will be the ones that are going to have their benefits cut off.

  19. Aphex242 says:

    $1 in unemployment = $1.90 for our economy.

    $1 in tax cuts for the wealthy = $1.16 for our economy.

    Do the math.

    • dolemite says:

      That’s pretty sad math. So…the wealthy continue to hoard their money and not put back into the economy.

    • ncgirl says:

      Hey – let’s all just get laid off and then the economy will really be rocking with all those unemployment benefits!!!!! This info from the experts is so dumb it’s off the charts.

      I have never been employed by an unemployed person.

    • hansolo247 says:

      I’m an economist, and that’s such a crock of shite.

      By the logic of unemployment having a 90% return, it sounds like something so awesome.

      Now, having unemployment isn’t a bad thing…to a point, and the further along the harder it should be…but to say that it is a huge bang for the buck is just asinine.

      That $1 may be spent and re-spent to the point that it generates $1.90 in cumulative spending, but that is NOT going to give you $0.90 in economic growth.

      • Aphex242 says:

        …right, and as an economist, you look at net effects when determining best ways to stimulate an economy, would you not?

        Certainly looking only at immediate effects would be almost criminally biased, wouldn’t it?

    • blacknoi says:

      If $1 in unemployment = $1.90 for our economy, then why doesn’t everyone get unemployment? Recession/depression solved!

      I still have yet to see concrete proof as to how $1 gets magically turned into $1.90. $1 is $1. Please educate me as to how this magic works.

  20. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    For the past six months, I’ve had to work 50 – 60 hour weeks to make up for staff lost to layoffs. I’m tired, think I’m getting an ulcer, sciatica from an old Army injury is flaring up, and never get to see my family.

    But at least it’s a paycheck and at least we can keep insurance for myself, my child, and my pregnant wife. I don’t envy those who are unemployed, making half their normal salary on unemployment, and can’t afford their COBRA.

    I’m grateful to have a job, health insurance, and my family.

    • Commenter24 says:

      You’re really complaining about work 50-60 hours per week? That’s nothing. There are a LOT of people who work WAY more hours than that. 50-60 hours is 10-12 hour days, 5 days per week. Perhaps you need to beef-up your work ethic a little bit if that’s giving you an ulcer.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Thanks for the advice. I never considered that!

      • Verdant Pine Trees says:

        Lay off. He has nothing to apologize for. We know nothing of the character of his work, what things are like at home, etc. If you’re stressed, you’re stressed.

        It is not a competition over who has the shittier job / experience. Don’t be angry at him, be angry at the kind of organizations and employers who exploit people during this tough time in the labor market.

        I once worked on a “death march” project, during which several people had nervous breakdowns. One of my coworkers (a contractor) was laid off literally, the day after his wife gave birth. Some of those people with strong “work ethics” were the ones who got hit hard, because they were easiest to manipulate. They were afraid to draw clearcut boundaries between work and life. Working hard does not make you a better person. It makes you a better worker – to your boss. There is a difference.

        I certainly don’t have trouble mustering empathy for someone whose workplace is impacted by layoffs, is doing the work of several people, has a service-connected injury flaring up, and has a baby on the way.

      • summeroflove says:

        Seconded, lay off. Your job is not his job (or anyone else’s job).Your health is not his health. Your life is not his life. Try getting out from behind your narrow world and seeing something from someone else’s point of view. You have no idea what that guy does for a living. Not all jobs are equal which is why we have whole shows about dirty, dangerous jobs that no one else would want to do.

  21. Saltpork says:

    I don’t know about the posters above me, but I was on unemployment after being downsized about 4 years ago.
    I barely scraped by. I ate beans and potatoes, I kept the house at 55 in winter to keep my bills down, I had to sell a vehicle so I could afford insurance on the other.
    I burned through 6 months of unemployment and my savings before I found a job after 10 months.

    That was a tough time in my life. I feel for the people who can’t find work and are still trying. It’s tough sometimes.

    For all the lazy people on unemployment I’m betting there are many who aren’t lazy, but tired of the numbing grind of finding a decent job.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      That was basically my experience when I lost my job back in 2001. I was out of work for about 5 months. The unemployment paid about 60% of what I made before losing my job. I burned through my savings and couldn’t afford COBRA (the premium was higher than my unemployment check).

      It was an awful experience that I hope never to repeat.

    • BuffaloGal says:

      With two children, a mortgage and car payments, this was me. On unemployment. Not welfare. It was not a treat. I did not sit around eating bon-bons and watching TV. I worked my arse off looking for work. The title of this entry needs to change!

    • Outrun1986 says:

      Perhaps the people who seem lazy and on unemployment are actually working very hard at finding a job. Finding a job takes just as much time as working an actual job these days, so perhaps that guy who you think sits home and plays video games all day is actually sitting on his computer all day filling out job applications. You cannot judge unless you sit in the person’s house for 24 hours and you know he is doing nothing but playing video games all day. Most things are done online these days and if you walk into a company asking for a job application they will most likely refer you to a website where you can apply anyways, so its not like traditional job hunting where you go out and look for jobs.

      Keep in mind they are also competing against a million other people who are also constantly becoming unemployed, and with the cuts, that means everyone will be looking for a job at the same time, thus increasing the competition even more than what it already is.

      Its easy to become discouraged too, especially when you fill out a ton of applications then hear nothing or hear from just 1-2. There is only so much you can do before you need some time to relax.

    • Jemish says:

      It’s severely disheartening, especially when you don’t hear anything back at all when even a “No, because blah blah”. You can end up reviewing your resume over and over and over because you swear there must be something absolutely wrong on it that people can’t even bother to say no.

      It can really reach a point where if someone starts avoiding the subject or can’t bring themselves to check their email. With this faceless hiring structure in place, you may have a ton to offer, be the right fit even, but never get in because of not meeting anyone or even having a phone call. In a country where work defines a person so much, being unemployed can really bring you down.

  22. Poisson Process says:

    I don’t think any of us want to go back to the time where everyone is a farmer/hunter/gatherer. We are all dependent on the same system. We’re all in this together. It doesn’t make sense to have a “everyone takes care of themselves” attitude anymore.

    That said, our current system always has a positive unemployment rate. Even before the recession, there were people out of work. Unless we’re going to radically change the system so that everyone always has a paid job, then we need to support those without one.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Even in the farmer/hunter/gatherer era, there were huge dependencies — people specialized, hunters shared with the gatherers when it wasn’t the right season for gathering, etc.

  23. ITDEFX says:

    Some people think it’s easy to get off unemployment and back to full time work…this is NOT true. It’s a really tough market out there. Right now the market is more geared towards paying less for more work and only at part time rates to not pay for health insurance and other goodies.

    Job interviews I have been at that went well end up being given to other people who were “promised” the job ahead of time. So basically it waste the applicants time and money and the interviewers time and money to give a job that was already promised to someone else weeks ago. That’s the problem right there. You think your going to get the job but in actuality you had no chance from the start.

    I don’t believe people are just living on unemployment just for the heck of it. Unemployment pay SUCKS and barely pays the bills. None of us wants to stay on unemployment forever…it’s just work places like the one I mentioned keeps us down like that.

    I don’t know about your states, but dealing with the Virginia Employment Commission sucks. A lot of those “deputies” don’t know what the hell they are doing and are doing bad jobs at it. I had to fight them because a former employer for a job position that I have done in over 2 years skill has me listed as “On Call”. That employer forgot to remove me from the system. The VEC reported that the employer listed me as “ON CALL” and denied me benefits. Who the hell keeps someone “ON CALL” for 30 months without calling them or giving them a retainer for being all call?

    I did get payroll information confirming the last time I did work for them for that position and submitted it to the VEC and yet the VEC keeps on bringing this up as they are ignoring that fact. If I call up that former position supervisor and have them remove me, then they will have me listed as terminated as of whatever current date, not 30 months ago…which could screw me over as the VEC would think “I QUIT, so I don’t deserve any benefits”.

    Some of these VEC workers go home and think “Today I did a good job and helped people find jobs…” bullshit….in actually it was “Today I fucked more people over and I got paid to do it!”..life is great! :(

    That’s how messed up the system is!

  24. Rocket80 says:

    Why would any employer hire someone who has been out of work for 99 weeks? I mean, any job opening an employer makes will get plenty of interest from people with CURRENT jobs who actually have recent experience in the field.

    Extending it is only going to make this effect worse.

    • captadam says:

      These people will be out of work regardless of whether they’re receiving a paltry check in the mail.

    • ITDEFX says:

      It’s called giving someone a chance. Everyone that has gotten laid off has either lost there jobs because the people above them can’t afford them anymore because business is slow or the their supervisors made stupid/childish mistakes. I had a friend lost her job of 8 years because certain people of her company didn’t like each other and one person decided to close down the other person’s branch effectively losing the jobs of 40+ people and the public excuse was “that they were trying to save money in this economy.” Shit like this happens a lot more than you know. Unfortunately a lot of people are going to be hurt because of stuff that was out of their control.

    • s73v3r says:

      This isn’t extending past 99 weeks. This is extending past the 26 weeks you get from your State, up to the 99 weeks.

  25. TBGBoodler says:

    Unemployment benefits are not “Welfare.”

    • zzyzzx says:

      When someone is on the federally funded extension, it’s welfare. For the state part I’d say it’s more of an insurance payout.

  26. EBounding says:

    “How long do you think jobless benefits should last?”

    1000 weeks. Jobless benefits are the key to economic growth.

  27. milrtime83 says:

    Not extending unemployment benefits would be one of the largest factors in reducing the unemployment rate.

    • whitecat says:

      No, it wouldn’t. In fact, it would be a HUGE factor in increased bankruptcies, foreclosures, homelessness, more layoffs and joblessness, and probably suicides.

      • areaman says:

        As odd as this sounds it…

        one of the ways not extending unemployment benefits could reduce the unemployment rate because these people will stop being counted as unemployed.

        No, it wouldn’t. In fact, it would be a HUGE factor in increased bankruptcies, foreclosures, homelessness, more layoffs and joblessness, and probably suicides.

        Some of the people on here are to ruthless, they’ll probably say the unemployed should kill themselves

        • hansolo247 says:

          The BLS statistics consider anyone now working and looking for work Unemployed.

          Receiving a treasury check has nothing to do with it.

  28. whitecat says:

    It isn’t welfare. It’s unemployment insurance. We paid in, we deserve the payout.

    • hansolo247 says:

      After 26 weeks, the funding does NOT come from Unemployment insurance premiums, but from the general fund.

  29. madfrog says:

    I understand that some people are having a legit hard time finding work, but I personally know I couple that have been sitting on their fat behinds for almost two years now – and when they get their checks, go to the store, buy a bunch of stuff and sell it on ebay. They are making more money this way than they ever did working, why should they look for work?

    My solution is this – Want to kick start the economy and create jobs? Hire a bunch of people to monitor people on Unemployment to verify that they are actually making the effort to look for work- they have a job and the deadbeats have to do something besides playing xbox all day and living off my paycheck. It’s Win Win.

    Just as a side note, a friend of my husband’s was just laid off, and was told his Unemployment benefits are good for 99 weeks.

  30. areaman says:

    Someone posted earlier that unemployment was like a paid vacation.

    I’m around unemployed people with their slightly under $300 a week unemployment checks. They don’t live like they’re on vacation. Or if they are, they’re not enjoying themselves.

  31. suepw says:

    Unemployment benefits are NOT welfare – they come from insurance that WE pay either through payroll deduction or as part of our total compensation from our employer. Please STOP calling it welfare!

    • hansolo247 says:

      That’s not true past 26 weeks.

      I’m not countering the first part of your argument, but part 2 is just flat-out false.

      • haggis for the soul says:

        So is there a cap on what is collected from workers that stops at 26 weeks worth? I’m guessing not.

  32. framitz says:

    What the heck is with the Goodbye to Welfare BS?

    Unemployment compensation is NOT welfare.

    For 9 months my full time JOB was to seek employment after a layoff. I was NOT on welfare.
    I found a contracting position and proved my value and converted to full time.

    I would have been on the street if not for unemployment compensation.

  33. crazydavythe1st says:

    haha, I loved the “Will code for food” Alec…

    thankfully, I’ll *probably* graduate with a job.
    I’d hate to think about the job search effort a person who went to a lesser engineering school would have to go through

  34. Outrun1986 says:

    With everyone getting cut off at the same time it will make it even harder and more competitive for people to find jobs since everyone will be cut off and frantically looking for a job at the same time.

    I seriously doubt unemployed people are sitting home and playing Xbox all day. There is only so much you can do to look for a job though, and you will need a break at some point. You can’t be job hunting 24/7, you wouldn’t have enough places to apply to anyways in most cases to be working on job hunting that much.. A lot of companies will throw your resume right out though or not even look at it, and even if you get an interview as another person mentioned above it could be that you don’t even have a chance because there was already a pre-selected applicant.

    Most retail stores here aren’t even hiring, same with fast food joints. Those jobs are already snatched by people who cannot afford to give up those jobs, and the stores won’t hire more workers since they can’t afford to, they will just make do with the workers that they have. Most retail store workers here are over 30 or much older, its not the 18 year old’s anymore (its also very hard to be a teen looking for a first job here since the usual job channels for those age groups are already filled with much older workers). This is not an option for most people, at least here, since the jobs are already filled.

  35. Armand1880 says:

    Father in law – jobless since 2008. He sits on his ass all day, and over the past few years has gone on only a handful of interviews. He finally accepted a job a few months ago (after being offered a few and declining them) and fired within one week because the job “wasn’t for him”. That was three months ago.

    And the other side – best friend – a student, has held no less than 4 jobs in the past two years in warehouses driving forklifts. He has been laid off for various reasons, but has always gotten a new job within 3 weeks of really starting his search…and we live in Michigan.

    And I manage a bookstore – I had a douche come in and fill out an application to keep his unemployment – that is the biggest joke system ever. He asked for $30 an hour on his application and didn’t even fill the whole thing out.

    Let it run out. People get too complacent.

    • s73v3r says:

      A father-in-law is going to be older than your friend. Getting jobs is much harder for older people, especially those close to retirement.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      The mandatory application quota per week is a problem as well. Someone might actually want the job they’re applying for. I guess too many businesses and managers ASSume you are just filling an application for your quota.

      I too have seen the abuse of the quota system except the person I know just applied for jobs he knew he had no chance in heck in getting ie jobs beyond his skill/education preferred level. He’s an executive wannabe. He said if he started applying for retail jobs he was afraid if unemployment saw retail on his quota list eventually they would force him to apply for more retail jobs and eventually except a retail job.

    • Rose says:

      If he turned down an offer then he would be off of unemployment. They don’t allow you to turn down offers and, in Oklahoma, they will apply for jobs on your behalf and track them.

  36. Aurock says:

    Realistically, we would have a lot fewer unemployed citizens if congress hadn’t extended the unemployment benefits. Statistically, most people who find work on unemployment do it during the last few weeks of their unemployment benefit. That’s because most people don’t REALLY start looking hard while they have that check coming in. When congress extended benefits out beyond the normal 6 months, suddenly fewer people were finding work at 5.5 months in.

    It’s a lot easier to take unemployment and have a few months off of work than it is to go back to work. Or, for a lot of people, to cash the unemployment check and work for someone off the books, making as much or more than they did when they were ’employed’.

    If congress has any sense at all (Dreaming, I know), the benefits will NOT be extended again, and maybe we’ll start getting people back to work!

    • Rose says:

      Cite your source, please.

      Also, most of the people I know are desperate to find jobs ASAP, so that they still have benefits remaining in case something happens to their next job.

  37. c_c says:

    So under Republican logic all these folks should now pick themselves up by their bootstraps and get jobs, right? Unemployment crisis = solved. BOOTSTRAPS!

  38. JulesNoctambule says:

    Hmm, let me see. . .cost of keeping unemployed people able to pay their mortgages, feed their kids and be productive members of society on some level versus the cost of all those people having their homes go into foreclosure, being unable to get a meal on the table and swelling the numbers of destitute and needy in this country. Well, I know which one I’d rather see my taxes go toward!

  39. anyanka323 says:

    There are jobs available, but many of the people who are or were on unemployment were employed in sectors (industrial, mid level management) that don’t have skills that translate well to the jobs in retail and service industries that are available. There are a lot of white and blue collar men who still haven’t found work in their areas and they don’t either have the experience or the people skills to convince a retail manager to hire them.

    Going from mid level management where they’re used to being on top and giving orders to a retail job where they have to take orders from others is a huge psychological barrier to overcome as well. It could be made worse by the fact they know they have more management experience than the people they are currently taking orders. They’re professional enough to know that they have to shut their mouths to keep their jobs, even when their manager is often wrong and incompetent a lot of the time. Trust me, many people in retail management have no business being in any position of authority and should be switching places with the people they supervise, who often have more work experience and are better educated than they are.

  40. Urgleglurk says:

    “Welfare” is not the same thing as “Unemployment Insurance.”
    Your headline is misleading.

  41. mbd says:

    Unemployment Benefits are not welfare, even the extended benefits. Anyone who works as an employee has paid into the Unemployment fund, generally far in excess of what they will collect.

    • ElDiablo says:

      You are entirely mistaken. Employers pay the largest portion of UC. There is no way that the $1-2 people pay biweekly adds up to more than the benefits received (unless you’re lucky enough to always be employed).

  42. dcamsam says:

    Of course, Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts isn’t concerned about the added expense of extending the Bush tax cuts permanently, and doesn’t feel that they need to be offset by cuts elsewhere.

    Deficit spending for the super-rich? Good. Deficit spending for the unemployed? Bad.

    Otherwise, I see their are still vicious, ignorant people who believe that there are more jobs than there are job seekers, and thus that the unemployed are unemployed because they are too choosy. There is one available job for every five job seekers, idiots. People are unemployed because there are not enough jobs. And no, your anecdote about your supposedly lazy neighbor who happens to be unemployed does not change that fact.

    Normally, I’d complain that unemployement is not welfare, but what would be the point? Conservatives believe that any government money that goes to anyone with less money than them is welfare. Whereas any money that goes to them and those wealthier than them is well-deserved. Just ask Scott Brown.

    • areaman says:

      People are unemployed because there are not enough jobs.

      I’m surprised the “vicious” people you’re talking about haven’t countered yet by saying something about bootstrapping and/or pull out the old selling apples on the street definition of jobs.

  43. PunditGuy says:

    To the rash of people who think this is magical unicorn money paid for with kisses and unemployment insurance premiums: The $56 million extension proposal is paid for with (borrowed) taxpayer money. Transferring money from taxpayers to the unemployed is definitely welfare by any reasonable definition.


    • VeganPixels says:

      You do understand that people who were formerly employed are taxpayers, right? And unemployment benefits are taxable income paid by taxpayers, right? That rash looks nasty, BTW.

      • PunditGuy says:

        Sure — they’re just taking out what they put in, right? That’s why it’s revenue neutral. Oh wait, except it isn’t.

      • whitecat says:

        You do understand that people who collect unemployment DO pay taxes on that income, right? They are not “former” taxpayers. They are current taxpayers.

        Of course, if you take away their unemployment benefits, they stop paying taxes. And everything else. Give them a job and they start paying MORE taxes.

    • areaman says:

      There’s two things wrong with the post.

      1) $56 million sounds very short.
      2) People who collect unemployment have paid taxes. Just because someone collects unemployment that doesn’t mean they’re barred or cannot pay taxes ever again.

      • PunditGuy says:

        My bad — “billion” with a “B.”

        People who collect welfare have paid taxes. They pay taxes. They’ll pay taxes in the future. That’s not relevant to the fact that accepting money you did not earn when you need it because of circumstance is welfare.

        • areaman says:

          That’s not relevant to the fact that accepting money you did not earn when you need it because of circumstance is welfare.

          Nice play on words to use to word ‘earned’. Sure when the state gives the money back it’s not ‘earned’. Is it earned to the dictionary definition of the word? No. I’ve been contributing to unemployment for more than 10 years without drawing a cent. So if I use it down the road, is it equitable? Yes.

          • PunditGuy says:

            Do you understand how insurance works? It’s not an account where you get out what you put in. (By the way, your employer probably paid into the insurance pool instead of you). Not that the point is even relevant here, because this isn’t unemployment insurance money that we’re talking about — it’s general fund taxpayer money. All those precious dollars that you think you paid while working funded your state unemployment insurance program, which is probably being stretched thin by the demand right now.

            So it’s not a play on words. This is a transfer of wealth. As I’ve said before, I’m perfectly fine with that — but you people who think “it’s not like welfare because I paid taxes” are seriously deluding yourselves, and seriously classist.

          • Rose says:

            My employer paid in on my behalf, pursuant to my employment agreement. I was paid x per hour, plus any benefits, including unemployment insurance. Or do you think that workers didn’t earn whatever portion of their health care that their employer pays for either?

            • PunditGuy says:

              Again, irrelevant. This isn’t even unemployment insurance money that we’re talking about. This is taxpayer borrowing. So taxpayers are paying (or are going to pay) money to send a check to people who aren’t working. What’s that called?

  44. Talisker says:


    The business owners and wealthy shift jobs overseas to increase their own wealth, whine about having to pay taxes on that wealth, and then balk at extending unemployment benefits to the people they laid off to pay for the $75,000 car instead of the $65,000 one.

    • Talmonis says:

      This my friend is exactly why if ever I lose my home and wellbeing due to these scum, I will make them pay for it in blood. ALL those who are spit on and ridiculed for being laid off (and then are magically lazy because they’re unemployed) and have no family that needs them should take vengeance on these swine.

    • zzyzzx says:

      According to Liberals, the wealthy don’t pay much of any income taxes, so using their own logic, the person in your example would still be able to purchase the $75,000 car in either event.

  45. BettyCrocker says:

    You realize that unemployment and welfare are not the same thing – right?

  46. MoreThanWYSIWYG says:

    Well, now that these peeps have had 99 weeks of learning how to not work, they will have more difficult time explaining that to a potential employer if they actually can lay down the pipe long enough to look for a job.

  47. waltcoleman says:

    Unemployment benefits discourage people from finding work. Those receiving benefits will hold out for higher paying jobs and only start to seriously look and consider lower wage jobs when their benefits are about to expire. Its human nature…why work for something, when you can get almost the same by doing nothing? 99 weeks is far too long to be on unemployment.

  48. Geekybiker says:

    Not to be harsh, but this just means that they will have to take jobs that pay the same as unemployment- fast food, cashiers, etc. I was out of a job for over a year and was in the same position so I know what its like.

  49. heythere says:

    In defense of the ‘lazy’: The secret to being able to party it up on unemployment is to keep your living expenses low enough that your life isn’t flushed down the toilet if you lose your job. I am currently employed, and my living expenses are just over half of my salary. I would be able to party all night and sleep until noon on unemployment (which is the plan for at least a month, should I lose my job), and still put money in savings.

    Maybe these ‘lazy’ folks have actually planned well? Has anyone considered that? Perhaps these are people who took the whole ‘personal responsibility’ thing seriously, and decided to live beneath their means and stay out of debt. I don’t think I could stand 99 weeks of unemployment, but since I have saved and planned my budget carefully so that I will still be comfortable if I lose my job, I would never take a job that paid less than unemployment as long as it was still coming. That isn’t laziness, it is just common sense. It is stupid and lazy to spend every penny you earn, so that you can’t recover from a financial blow. That is the situation that angers me.

  50. jcargill says:

    They could save hundreds of billions…by ending corporate welfare.

  51. jcargill says:

    They could save hundreds of billions…by ending corporate welfare.

  52. CentralScrutinizer says:

    Long-term unemployed? B-b-b-b-b-b-but Larry Winget himself said in his book “Shut Up, Stop Whining, & Get A Life”,

    “I am going to go out on a limb here and say that no one has to be without a job if they really want one.”

    Then he cites the example of the gal who shovels dog poop from people’s lawns for money, and the guy who worked himself through college spray painting house numbers on curbs, then added,

    “The point here is that there are plenty of ways to make a living. It just takes a willingness to get off your lazy butt and do something. It seems most people would rather be broke and lazy than work a little and have a pocket full of money.”

    So, if the “Pitbull of Personal Development” says it, it muuuuuuust be true.

  53. amgriffin says:

    Headlines across the country will shortly shout the so-called good news “UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS FALL!”

  54. u1itn0w2day says:

    It’s a tough economy but I know several people that are looking for a ” career ” job with ” career ” like salaries.

    They’re middle age and believed urban myths if you get fired or leave a job one day the next you’ll find an even higher paying job( in late 2008 after a tanking real estate market and crashing banks). It took 99 weeks for them to realize that the lack of “career” related 4 year degrees, licenses and certifications to realize the economy sucks and things will never be the same.

    I know one guy that turned downed several offers over 50K a year because he felt he was a 100K executive/corporate expert-pppfffft. He’s even turned down 45K a year jobs over the last 6 months. Their circle of friends & associates did the same. Several wised up to retail and security guard work.

    You don’t have to degrade yourself but after a certain point you have to realize you just need ” a ” job. The 9-5 with no weekends & nights and familar faces to cut deals with like can I leave early no longer exist. There’s both entitlement & comfort zone problems. Hey, I know it’s an employer’s market using some very questionable tactics but ‘a’ job and not a career is the point here in this economy. This is where too many go wrong including the employERS-there’s a difference between ” a job” and “a career”-both have unrealistic expectations.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      I haven’t heard that myth in a really long time, but there are some people who believe if you lose your job you can find another one very easily, and that is clearly not the case.

      Middle agers seem to be pretty susceptible to this, oh you lost a job, go get another one… you just can’t do that these days for most professions.

      Job security is also almost non-existent, aside from a few types of jobs. Most companies can fire you at will. The days of working for a company for your whole life and retiring with them are long gone at least for today’s generation of young people. Someone who is 18 and is getting a job isn’t going to stay with one company for the rest of their life and retire with them, which is what happened in the past.

      • u1itn0w2day says:

        I notice alot of people having a hard time finding a job had their last job 10 years plus. This makes change that much more difficult. Also many 10 year plus employees were still using paper applications and resumes to land jobs in the 1990s. There were also human HRs looking at you and every other applicant and not computer programs that can knock you out of the running in less than a second. They get frustrated when dealing with the computerized nature of hiring even for many entry level jobs.

        Alot of people who had one job over a decade probably learned how to politic and navigate ONE particular company. But now in the outside world all those political connections in your last company are gone. I know people who worked their way up the ladder in rank and pay without many of the associated schooling, licenses and/or certifications. The potential employer doesn’t hire experience per say because it’s someone’s word even if it’s your ex boss as reference. The current HRs/companies want the paper ie the degrees & certifications over experience.

        I’d venture to say alot of people struggling to find a job are 40 plus which opens up the applicant to unethical and illegal age discrimination even if age not a factor in doing the actual job.

  55. u1itn0w2day says:

    That’s wrong as well to assume because some decided to take ‘a’ job in another industry while waiting for a job in their career. If there’s a license or certification that might expire or requires so many hours of work per year or you’re talking brain surgery yeh I can see bypassing a careerist who took a job out of field.

    Sometimes a diverse person can add as much to the business as a specialist especially when not talking brain surgery. A ‘career’ or careerist is way over hyped by these HRs and the job seeker.

  56. brianisthegreatest says:

    I know people have a hard time but I wouldn’t think I would be disrespectful in asking how in the world can you not find a job for two years? I know it’s tough, I know places aren’t hiring as much. Some places are still hiring. I guess getting a stable job making less than your unemployment check might be a determent, which may have answered my own curiosity on the subject. I think it’s safe to say it’s time to move on after two years, and it’s just not the same. Find work somewhere.

    • DowneMixedBoi says:

      I hope you lose your job so you can see how hard it really is first hand.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      2 years is along time not to find ” a ” job. Part of the problem is for many of the unemployed is at one point do they make the decision to move on to something else/get off unemployment.

      And if they show hesitation in accepting a pretty solid offer at a lower paying job they won’t get the job because the company will move on to the next applicant. Many HRs and management get upset when you are not all giddy/gung ho about their offer. They want the ‘hungriest’ applicant they can find-empty stomach doesn’t count.

    • whitecat says:

      Here’s an idea. Everyone who thinks people on unemployment for two years are just lazy has to give up their job to one of them and go on unemployment themselves for two years.

      Problem solved.

    • Rose says:

      It’s not two years. These benefits are ending at 26 weeks, not 99 weeks, as the erroneous headline suggests.

  57. JiminyChristmas says:

    What an asshole-ish headline. Unemployment benefits aren’t welfare; they are insurance benefits.

    For people saying everyone who wants a job should be able to find one, that’s demonstrably false. 8 million jobs have been lost since the start of the recession. Meanwhile, it has been reported that there are 5 job seekers for every available job. That means if you filled every last single opening everywhere in the country there would still be no jobs for over 6 million people. There are more job seekers than there are jobs, end of story.

  58. Intheknow says:

    Now they’ll get in line for disability benefits.

  59. FlashFlashCarCrash says:

    um, GET A DAMN JOB. 99 weeks is more that 2 YEARS. I’m sure in that time a gas station, fast food joint, walmart, or SOMEONE was hiring. If you’ve been unemployed for 2 years that is YOUR FAULT and I don’t think the rest of us should have to pay for it. Join the military at least. Come on.

    • whitecat says:

      Actually, 99 weeks is LESS THAN two years – it’s 23 months. Two years is 104 weeks (2 X 52).

      This is another stunning example of the fact that it’s possible to be an idiot with no math skills and be gainfully employed, while millions of educated, experienced people are out of work through no fault of their own.

      No, you aren’t employed because you’re smart and work hard. You’re employed because you are lucky.

    • haggis for the soul says:

      Just because “someone” has a job at any particular time doesn’t mean that “you” will get it. It’s all about timing and a lot of luck.

    • SoCalGNX says:

      Nice to be smug. You have no idea what its really like.

    • zzyzzx says:

      As long as I still see Mexicans working everywhere, I see no reason for extended federal unemployment benefits.

  60. haggis for the soul says:

    It’s not quite as simple as “just get a job.” I don’t think that every person is suited to do every job. That’s why many of us choose to get training in fields that support our interests and skill level/strengths. Sometimes an employee is a very bad fit for a particular workplace and they and everyone who has to deal with them suffers. Otherwise, why not just have a central employment facility randomly matching job openings with people? It’d be as dumb as letting Reverend Moon randomly assign you a wife.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      I agree there are jobs that only want or merit career professionals no matter how low the pay. But everytime I read a survey about jobs/careers usually over 50% say they would make a change of somekind if they had the chance ie most work for pay and not because of their ‘career’. I think many of these HRs or hiring managers put too much stock in looking for a perfect “fit”.

      But just like the novice employee who might expect a little too much from a job in a different industry the management/HRs expect too much or in some respects too little from a rookie employee.

  61. u1itn0w2day says:

    This has been brought up before but now they are starting to accumulate statistics to back it up


    The longer you are out the less chance you have of finding a job. They say as soon as employers sense desperation you’re out of the running. Now I can see desperation causing a bad interview knocking you out of the box: a really bad interview but I don’t think these numbers are just a bad interview.

    The article cites professionals but I noticed this at various times when looking for entry level work as well. It’s not even a bad interview I think they just would rather have the applicant/employee that seems to keep working at all costs which transalates into a better company soldier. Or the HR tenant of keep my turn-over low takes precedent over find a quality applicant/employee.

    All I have to say at the entry level anyway if these hiring practices were so great this board and others would be out of business because the ideal employee would not be causing all of these customer service issues.

  62. SoCalGNX says:

    Welfare payments??? I live in a county that has had a 14%+ unemployment rate for several years. There are more candidates than jobs for anything that comes up. I look daily and apply to anything I think I can do (fast food, retail or anything else). I am willing to drive 50 miles in any direction to obtain a job. My 99 weeks expired months ago. No one wants to see the feds spend more money to increase the debt. But what they are missing is that people who get unemployment aren’t able to pay all their bills, pay taxes on wages or buy things to help boost the economy. What will be gained when unemployment is denied to everyone who can’t find a job? It won’t help the economy. What is the federal government doing to help employers be able to hire people?

  63. SoCalGNX says:

    Welfare payments??? I live in a county that has had a 14%+ unemployment rate for several years. There are more candidates than jobs for anything that comes up. I look daily and apply to anything I think I can do (fast food, retail or anything else). I am willing to drive 50 miles in any direction to obtain a job. My 99 weeks expired months ago. No one wants to see the feds spend more money to increase the debt. But what they are missing is that people who get unemployment aren’t able to pay all their bills, pay taxes on wages or buy things to help boost the economy. What will be gained when unemployment is denied to everyone who can’t find a job? It won’t help the economy. What is the federal government doing to help employers be able to hire people?

  64. zzyzzx says:

    “How long do you think jobless benefits should last?”

    The normal 26 weeks.

  65. jcargill says: