Long Term Benefit Compensation News and Notes today February 3, 2014:
The Senate will once again focus attention this week on extending long term unemployment benefits for more than a million Americans currently enduring an extended period without benefits. Congress allowed long term unemployment benefits to expire as the month of December expired. In the most recent week, the Labor Department reported that the number of Americans claiming first time unemployment benefits rose higher again. The economy is reportedly improving, but the recent jobless claims data was negatively skewed. The number of Americans making new unemployment claims rose higher last week by 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted rate of 348,000. Also, claims for the week prior were revised higher by 3,000 more applications. The four week moving average also moved higher by 750 to 333,000. The data implies that job growth in December slowed. Possibly, this data might apply additional incentive and motivation for Congressional policy leaders while planning for a potential unemployment benefit extension this week. After showing an inability to extend various unemployment benefit plans last month, Democrats and Republicans will begin work on a new proposal this week. Democrats are now proposing a three month extension to be paid for by pension modifications. A small group of Republicans are open to the idea, and maybe that will be enough to pass the plan. The vote could happen later this week. Millions will be watching and monitoring developments.