Unemployment benefit news review and economic trends Update March 9, 2014:
The U.S. economy lost almost 9 million jobs during the most recent financial crisis and although the economy has been slowly recovering, not all of the lost jobs have been recovered. As of February, approximately 8 million jobs have been added back to the books which leaves the U.S. economy no better off than just prior to the economic melt down. Then, the unemployment rate was far lower than it is now at just over 4 percent. The February jobs report showed that the U.S. economy added jobs, but with the additions in January only adding up to about 130,000, the 175,000 in February did not have to increase by much to best January’s report. It should be noted that so far, the last three monthly jobs reports remain well below the average number of jobs added during the entire 2013 calendar year. If the economy is improving, why then are the job additions in 2014 much worse than the addition numbers from 2013.
The unemployment rate ticked higher as well. In January, the average unemployment rate in the U.S. posted at 6.6 percent. Last month, the unemployment rate rose higher to 6.7 percent. Again, these numbers suggest that the economic recovery process is off track, but economists and policy leaders want to gravitate toward the theory that says the winter weather is holding the economy back. If this is true, we should expected to see a job addition bonanza this spring. The unemployed of America are unlikely willing to place their hope in the weather forecast.
Jobs are needed as the numbers of long term unemployed in America grows. Last month, the number of Americans that were counted as long term unemployed for six months or more registered at approximately 3.8 million. Almost 2 million Americans in this group have exhausted their long term unemployment benefits and some have been without EUC since late December of 2013. The Senate has made multiple attempts to pass a measure to extend long term unemployment benefits to no avail. Another attempt is expected to happen this week. The plan on the table would extend unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed in America for another six months and be retroactive. The buzz for an extension push should become more intense as this week moves forward.