Austerity

Federal Jobless Benefits Ending

Stan Honda, AFP / Getty Images

People seeking jobs wait in line to speak to over 60 employers at an employment fair May 3, 2012 in the Queens borough of New York.

Extended federal unemployment benefits are soon to start running out, despite the decision by Congress to renew the program. The federal benefit extensions supported unemployment payments for up to 99 weeks to help the unemployed until the job market improved. When the program expired in February, Congress renewed it but reduced the number of weeks payments could be sent and made it hard for states to get the maximum amount of aid. Since then, 23 states have lost months of benefits and roughly 500,000 people are expected to lose their jobless benefits prematurely this year, including 70,000 in the next month alone.