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Unemployment benefit applications have dropped this year in wake of extension crisis

unemployment-benefits.jpgUnemployment benefit applications fell last week by 2,000, bringing the seasonally adjusted amount to 312,000. However, the four-week average of benefit applications rose by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted rate of 314,000.

The average as a whole has dropped by 9 percentage points so far this year, which shows that companies are cutting fewer jobs from their payrolls.

While benefit applications are on the decline, the number of people receiving unemployment payments in America rose by 12,000 to 2.57 million. The number of people receiving benefits is still near a six-year low though.

“The figures come a day after the government said the economy shrank at a 2.9 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, the worst reading since early 2009, when the U.S. was mired in the depths of the recession,” reports the Associated Press.

Many economists have blamed the dismal economic performance of the U.S. on the unusually harsh winter weather experienced earlier this year. The fact that employers have not increased layoffs shows that the retraction of the economy is not due to an oncoming recession.

217,000 jobs were added in May of this year, which is the fourth straight month of job growth over 200,000. May’s significant job numbers means that the U.S. is currently in the biggest job growth streak since 1999.

The unemployment rate was stagnant at 6.3 percent, not great, but still the lowest level seen in more than five years.

The economy is expected to grow at a 3.5 percent annual rate or more in the quarter ending in June. The second half of the year will bring about a 3 percent growth rate, according to analysts.

While applications for unemployment benefits fell last week and hiring is at a high point right now, many Americans are feeling the strain of their benefits running out with no extension or back pay coming anytime soon.

Republicans and Democrats cannot come to an agreement on the metrics surrounding a proposed extension of benefits and back pay for people whose benefits ran out late last year.

In the midst of the financial crisis, Congress voted to increase unemployment benefits to 99 weeks, but it was eventually cut down to 73 weeks last year.

Currently, the federal unemployment benefits program provides those who lose their jobs with 26 weeks of payments.

So while the timeframe of unemployment benefit payments has lowered as the economy improves, there are still 3 million people out there whose benefits ran out.

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Wayne Heddinger

    Jun 30, 2014 at 9:39 am

    VOTE NO ON UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSIONS WITHOUT RETRO BENEFITS !

    WE ARE URGING OUR REPS IN CONGRESS TO VOTE NO ! UNLESS IT
    INCLUDES RETROACTIVE BENEFITS THIS BILL DOES NOT DO ANYTHING TO HELP US WHO
    HAVE LOST EVERYTHING SINCE DECEMBER 28TH…NOTHING…

    VOTE NO !

    • greg huggins

      Jun 30, 2014 at 4:50 pm

      i agree !!!!!!! a bill without retro benies will not help the three million !!!!!!!!

  2. lady j

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:10 am

    I PRAY that they will finally get something passed and voted upon. There is no justification to not have it up for a VOTE!! Let’s get real! SHAM of unemployment claims down.You are no longer counted when you reach 26 wks!!!!! That happens daily in all States.

  3. CJ

    Jun 30, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Are the people who write these articles really this stupid? They are lower because people have quit filing. Did anybody watch 60 minutes last night? There was a whole segment about how disability insurance claims have skyrocketed and how a lot of them are not valid. They talked about how people are now applying for disability insurance as a way to survive since their unemployment benefits have been cut off. People will find a way they have to support their families and they cant find a job. Our government has no clue what is going on in the world. They are oblivious.

  4. Diane Madison

    Jun 30, 2014 at 11:36 am

    And Boehner has the balls to threaten to sue President Obama! The House has done NOTHING constructive and should all be kicked out.

    • Roger Straight

      Jun 30, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      I agree with you 100%

  5. Ivan

    Jun 30, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Amazing . Some of these writers must be shills for congress. I saw the 60 minutes program. I also read another article where the repugnantcans have filibustered over 300 bills during the Obama administration, indicating that this IS personal and that they are willing to sacrifice the condition of the people they “represent” They earn three times the median income working a three day work week, yet they refer to the unemployed that must do legitimate labor as layabouts when opportunities are hard to come by. Charlie Rangel just got elected for a 23rd term and no one particularly the electorate in Harlem finds this troubling. Also he came into congress as a man of modest means and now he has villas in the Dominican Republic. Its not just EUC that has been blocked other bills that would help Americans have been killed by these worthless parasites on Capitol Hill. I can only classify them as hustlers that have taken advantage of our democracy and used it for personal gain. Passing this bill without the retro bennies will not help the long term unemployed, but I certainly do not want to see others have to go through this, there are enough people hanging on by a thread. Obama NOW weighing in, Boehner and his frivolous lawsuit and overall ineptitude and Charlie Rangel getting welfare for another two years. He has been sucking at the breast of America for 44 soon to be 46 years. This is 38 to 40 years too much And yet again the lethargy of this do nothing government is mind boggling during the demise of its own citizens and crisis over the world. (Since we deigned ourselves as the worlds policeman) When will it stop? When will sanity and common sense be restored?

  6. Ivan

    Jun 30, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Mr. Heddinger I can empathize with what you must be going through. Do you truly want others to suffer as you have? From your posts you come across as a decent human being, frustrated as we all are. They are aware of the situation or else they wouldn’t have talked about retroactive benefits as early as February. Now approaching July there will be 5 months of unpaid bills. Even with menial part time jobs obligations aren’t being met. You must flip a coin to see who gets a partial payment with the obvious exception of rent. (Part time jobs can’t pay mortgages). We need SOMETHING passed NOW

  7. Alan

    Jun 30, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Bs 13.4 % unemployed

  8. Laying DUCK

    Jun 30, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Of course the numbers look better when the long term unemployed are not counted in that 6.3%, what about the past 5 years how many entered the job force without growth of jobs?????

  9. Roger Straight

    Jun 30, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    The House Speaker does not care about extending Unemployment Benefits. The Speaker is only concerned about ” Suing Obama ” and Bashing him every chance that he gets. I have NEVER, EVER, seen anybody in congress publicly bash any other President like this clown has done to Obama.

  10. Dawn Nell Ross

    Jun 30, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    i dont see why the shouldnt put retro active for its going to cost the same amount as letting us finish where it was left off it they give us retro active and the amount of weeks that we should of had left its the same amount of money what is the difference

  11. Dawn Nell Ross

    Jun 30, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    ive been working since i was 16 im now 28 i know thats not much compared to others but this is the first time i filed for unemployment and to be cut off after 26 weeks is bull… i have a college education and can not get a job walmart wont hire me im over qualified mc donalds wont hire me i cant get a job because im over qualified and i cant speak spanish!!!!!

  12. Carter Hayes

    Jun 30, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    It’s political grandstanding by both parties overall. The right claims the long term unemployed are lazy or unmotivated and don’t deserve the assistance. The left wants to maintain the current unemployment rate by refusing to extend unemployment benefits. It’s basically a crime against Americans.

  13. barrnone

    Jun 30, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Over 1 million have been driven from the workforce and the unemployment rate is still over 6%. The real numbers are probably so grim they would cause a revolt. And the media is reporting on everything but this they are part of the conspiracy.

    The media is not reporting on 4 million unemployed people having their
    unemployment benefits cut, being describe as ‘lazy’ and Congress
    refusing to act.

    That’s why I created a petition to CNN News Headquarters, which says:

    “The media is not reporting on what is happening to unemployed people in America.”

    sign my petition and help us get this story reported. Click here to add your name:

    https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/force-the-media-to-do?source=c.fwd&r_by=10184902

    Thanks!

  14. Edgar Spearman

    Jun 30, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    We should sue John Boehner for doing nothing and neglecting the Unemployed “Abuse of Power” not to metion the Koch Brothers influence in Congress.

  15. David Paterno

    Jun 30, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    This article is so full of crap. The real unemployment rate is 13% and thousands of people are dropped off the roles. The people that did find work got LOW wage walmart jobs and NOT good jobs that feed families and pay mortgages of $1700 a month.

  16. Edgar Spearman

    Jun 30, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    IIf the speaker of the house “John Boehner” allows a vote on the EUC “Emergancy Unemployment Compensation” in the lower chamber “Congress” and they vote “NO” – Then the republican controled congress would take the heat and a negetive reaction at the polls. Well guess what Mr Speaker; your party has already creaded a mismay amongst the voters – even the republican voters. Who shut down the Federal Government. John McCain (R-Sen. Arizona) was on national telvision last fall and appoligized to the american people for his party (Republican) for being responsible for shutting down the government. This Republican Controlled Congress is doing absolutly “NOTHING”. The American People are suffering and since 1946 – the Congress is saying no to help us when the unemployment rate is so high. And they are “Cooking the Books”. on the real unemployment numbers.. So Congress “Do The Right Thng and bring the EUC to a vote – and “VOTE YES”.

  17. TxLoKiTa

    Jul 1, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Here it is again, Boehner is cold, kinda like a Communist. Trying to pic us off one by one. Or maybe the people who present extension bill should give him what he wants & include the retro pay. I have emailed CNN giving them a subject report on the faces of the long term unemployed. Children are involved. Homes have been lost,
    Material items can be replaced, people & their self esteem, self worth, pride & how our kids view the us as providers are at a all time low….

  18. Diane Madison

    Jul 1, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Unless you want more of the same or worse (just take a look at the Paul Ryan budget)–all of you posting here need to VOTE these nincompoops out of office. They are the ones who should be unemployed. Remember come November!!!

    • Edgar Spearman

      Jul 2, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      If our President, Senate or Congress get voted out of office, it won’t bother them. If they have 10yr they will get the same amount of money the rest of there lives and won’t ever have to file unemployment. “FACT” – “This has to stop.”

  19. Jill Perry Gordon

    Jul 1, 2014 at 10:51 am

    The unemployment application “decline” is because the unemployed Americans no longer have faith in our government. No one is filing because they know it is “disabled” for now. I mean why bother filing when they won’t get paid anyway? 70,000 Americans per week are becoming not only long term unemployed, but without temporary EUC. You can thank Speaker John Boehner and Congress for that. Not to mention our “DO NOTHING” President who not only promised the long term unemployed that he would “take care of them”, he is now IGNORING the situation, and NOT using his executive power to renew unemployment insurance retroactive from December 2013. Our government is absolutely pathetic. We need to vote everyone out and start all over!

    • Edgar Spearman

      Jul 2, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      President can’t act on his own if it takes money.;. that takes legislation “Senate & Congress Approval”. Obama has asked continuously for Congress to act on the EUC, but The Speaker of the House won’t bring it to a vote. Not to mention the Koch Brothers Influence in Congress. If the Congress ballows a vote and they vote “NO” then it will have a negative impact at the polls for the Republicans “Even there own party Voters”.

  20. Patrick Cunningham

    Jul 2, 2014 at 9:04 am

    More than 20 states changed their unemployment compensation rules to restrict elegibility for a new unemployment claim. People who were elegible 2 years ago for benefits are no longer eligible. That is one major reason for fewer claims. This article does not address this and is therefore BS!

    • Edgar Spearman

      Jul 2, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      Agreed. As I stated before, “Cooking the Books” – the True unemployment rate is 13%.

  21. Edgar Spearman

    Jul 2, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    If the speaker of the house “John Boehner” allows a vote on the EUC “Emergency Unemployment Compensation” in the lower chamber “Congress” and they vote “NO” – Then the republican controlled congress would take the heat and negative reaction at the polls. Well guess what Mr. Speaker; your party has already created a dismay amongst the voters – even the republican voters. Who shut down the Federal Government. John McCain (R-Sen. Arizona) was on national television last fall and apologized to the American people for his party (Republican) for being responsible for shutting down the government. This Republican Controlled Congress is doing absolutely “NOTHING”. The American People are suffering and since 1946 – the Congress is saying no to help when the unemployment rate is so high. And they are “Cooking the Books” the true Unemployment Rate is on the real unemployment numbers “The True Unemployment Rate is 13%… So Congress “Do The Right Thing and bring the EUC to a vote – and “VOTE YES”.

    President can’t act on his own if it takes money,. takes legislation “Senate & Congress Approval”. Obama has asked continuously for Congress to act on the EUC, but The Speaker of the House won’t bring it to a vote. Not to mention the Koch Brothers Influence in Congress. If the Congress allows a vote and they vote “NO” then it will have a negative impact at the polls for the Republicans “Even there own party Voters”.

    If our President, Senate or Congress get voted out of office and they have 10yr they will get the same amount of money the rest of there lives and won’t ever have to file unemployment. “FACT” – “This has to stop.”

    We should sue John Boehner for doing nothing and neglecting the Extended
    Unemployed “Abuse of Power” not to mention the Koch Brother influence in Congress.

    Over 3 Million Americans is Extended Unemployed “Passed the 26 weeks regular UI Benefits.& It’s getting worse by the day.

  22. Christine Itiswhatitis

    Jul 2, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    This author is so paid off its not funny.

  23. Icare

    Jul 2, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    All Witness Wednesdays events will take place at the House Triangle on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC (near Independence Ave. SE, S. Capitol St. SE, and New Jersey Ave. SE).

    There are four events left, all of which will run from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. Eastern time. They will take place on: July 9, July 16, July 23, and July 30.

    I hear alot of talk about how people are hurting from the governments inaction on the unemployment extension, but I see very little interest in helping those that are busting their asses to help those that seem to want others to do the work for them.

    It is no wonder the government is laughing at us as most of the unemployed seem to be uninterested in what people are doing to help them. 344 views of the first video, 305 views of the second video and 315 views of the third video and these are the numbers out of over 3 million unemployed!

    These people are in Washington D.C. every Wednesday to voice their concerns and trying to get the government to get off their high horses and do something, yet most of the unemployed seem to be only interested in themselves. Shame on all of you. You are an embarrassment to all of America’s People!

    If you are not in Washington or cannot make it to the events in person, you can watch them online. Bookmark the Witness Wednesdays web site and check back often for updates and links to archived videos.

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