UPDATE 6:31 PM:
Responding to the massive public outpouring as a result of our earlier blog post, Congress rushed through an emergency 13-week extension of jobless benefits. President Bush is expected to assign the legislation immediately.
Original post from 2:23 PM:
According to the latest Economic Snapshot by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the massive spike in jobless claims coincides with the expiration of unemployment benefits for millions.
Over 890,000 unemployed workers already have exhausted their 13-week extension, and another 1.2 million are projected to exhaust benefits by year’s end.3 Without these benefits, the Congressional Budget Office finds that about 50% of the long-term unemployed fall under the poverty line.4 Congress should act swiftly to extend benefits for another seven weeks in all states, and an additional 20 weeks (for a total of 33) in states with unemployment over 6.0%.