With nationwide unemployment at 9.8 percent, benefits will expire by the end of the year for nearly 2 million out-of-work Americans, including some 1,800 Vermonters. “In the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and at a time when long-term unemployment is extremely high, we cannot turn our backs on jobless Americans by letting their unemployment insurance expire,” Senator Bernie Sanders said. He backs legislation to extend unemployment insurance for up to 14 additional weeks. Some job hunters exhausted their benefits at the end of September.
A House-passed bill would stretch benefits only for workers in states where unemployment was 8.5 percent or more. That would leave out those searching for jobs in Vermont and 22 other states.
Sanders is a cosponsor of a Senate bill that would help workers in all 50 states.
Some 7.2 million jobs have been eliminated since the recession began in December 2007.
To read an Associated Press article on jobs lost during the recession, click here.