Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.

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President Bush Extends Benefits for Unemployed

On Friday, President Bush signed into law H.R. 6867, the "Unemployment Compensation Extention Act of 2008", to help individuals who have not been able to find work in this difficult economy.

The new law extends Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) an additional 7 weeks for a total of 20 weeks. It also provides for an additional 13 weeks of EUC for those who live in states with a particularly high unemployment rate of over 6%, such as Rhode Island, Michigan, and California.

EUC benefits are available to unemployed individuals once they have exhausted their normal Unemployment Insurance benefits, which is typically 26 weeks, or about six months.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the national unemployment rate increased to 6.5% for October, leaving about 10.1 million Americans out of work. About 4.4 million of those individuals did not expect to be called back to work, as many of their employers downsized or closed their doors permanently.

2.3 million of the 10.1 million have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more, and 3.3 million of those individuals have lost their jobs very recently - less than five weeks from the report date of November 7, 2008.

These numbers suggest that the unemployment rate will continue to rise as more businesses are forced to cut expenses by reducing their workforce.

Lost positions in October hurt workers in nearly all industries and sectors, except for health care with a gain of 26,000 jobs and the mining industry which added 7,000 jobs.

The biggest cuts were in manufacturing for a loss of 90,000 jobs, professional and business services shed 51,000 jobs, construction lost 49,000 jobs, retail trade - including auto sales and department stores - have lost 38,000 jobs, and the financial services industry cut 24,000 positions.

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Thursday, 09 July 2020

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