1. Austerity

    Federal Jobless Benefits Ending

    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. New claims for US unemployment benefits dropped more quickly than expected last week, but remained painfully high, the Labor Department reported May 3, 2012. New jobless claims stood at 365,000 for the week to April 28, compared to a revised 392,000 level the previous week. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA        (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/GettyImages)

    Stan Honda, AFP / Getty Images

    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.

    Read it at The New York Times