Today’s Unemployment Benefit News, Extension Update and Market News Review today March 8, 2014:
Millions of Americans that are unemployed and still waiting for an unemployment benefit extension looked to the monthly jobs report to gain additional insight into the employment crisis. Some policy leaders look for an emerging and recovering U.S. economy to absorb the unemployed and ultimately minimize the number of Americans in need of EUC. The February jobs report posted last session and the data sent mixed messages. Job additions moved higher, but so did the nation’s average unemployment rate.
According to the report, hiring picked up again last month. Job additions have ticked higher over the last three monthly job reports, but it should be noted that December job additions only totaled 84,000 which was well below expected levels, and well below any monthly report in all of 2013. The Department of Labor relayed that job additions in February totaled approximately 175,000 which was better than what most economists were expecting by about 25,000. Since economists had been expecting weaker numbers due to the recently harsh winter weather, the data was pleasantly received. The notion now exists that the February jobs numbers were positive despite the recently harsh winter weather. The implication is that the economic recovery process is full steam ahead. This could hurt the potential that policy leaders will vote to extend long term unemployment.
Right now, the number of long term unemployed remains high in the U.S. Approximately 3.8 million Americans have been unemployed for six months or more. Many of these individuals have been unemployed without EUC since December 28, 2013. The Senate will consider another extension during the latter half of next week.