I've only been out of work since the end of January, and my $ amount is about to expire and I hope I can get an extension on mine which I should be able to since the Feds passed the extension of benefits minus the current $25 "stimulus" that was in it. But it's tough out there and I feel bad for people who have been on unemployment for the 99 weeks this article mentions. I hate not working, I haven't really given up looking, I do look everyday and hopefully something turns around. Read the article below.
NY Times: Americans have almost always taken growth for granted. Recessions kick in, financial crises erupt, yet these events have generally been thought of as the exception, a temporary departure from an otherwise steady upward progression.
But as expectations for the recovery diminish daily and joblessness shows no sign of easing — as the jobs report on Friday showed — a different view is taking hold. And with it, comes implications for policy making.
After the recession and the financial crisis, Mr. Gross came around to the view that something structural in the economy had been altered and that the debt-fueled boom led by consumers over the past two decades was over.
Last week only provided more ammunition for his argument. On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned that unemployment could go up before it goes down, and on Friday, the jobs report showed that the economy lost 131,000 jobs last month.
Nearly half the 14.6 million unemployed have been out of work for more than six months, a level not seen since the Depression. That’s especially worrisome because the longer unemployment persists, the more skills erode and the harder it becomes to find work.
Not only are more people out of work longer, but their options are narrowing. Roughly 1.4 million people have been jobless for more than 99 weeks, the point at which unemployment benefits run out. “The situation is devastating,” said Robert Gordon, an economics professor at Northwestern and an expert on the labor market. “We are legitimately beginning to draw analogies to the Great Depression, in the sense that there is a growing hopelessness among job seekers.”
Professor Gordon doesn’t foresee a quick turnaround. But the Obama administration predicts that unemployment will drop to 8.7 percent by the end of next year, and eventually sink to 6.8 percent by the end of 2013.
To reach that level, the economy would have to add nearly 300,000 workers a month over the next three years, according to Peter Morici, a business professor at the University of Maryland. Even in the first half of the year, when the economy grew at a healthy 3 percent, it added fewer than 100,000 jobs a month.