Release: Senate Passes Unemployment Benefit Extension

WASHINGTON, November 4 – The Senate voted late this afternoon for a 14-week extension of unemployment insurance benefits. The extension would help about 1,800 Vermonters whose benefits were to have run out by the end of this year. 

“Winter is coming and in Vermont and around the country we simply cannot leave families in the lurch without any source of income,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Sanders said workers who have lost their jobs during the worst recession since the 1930s have remained unemployed an average of 27 weeks – longer than at any time since the end of World War II.

The House later this week is expected to finish action on the bill and send it to President Obama. The measure also would expand an $8,000 tax credit for homebuyers.

Nationwide, unemployment in September stood at 9.8 percent, the highest since 1983.  Economists expect the number to climb to 9.9 percent or higher when the Labor Department releases the latest jobless data for October on Friday morning.