We can only hope that the Federal extension of unemployment benefits is passed in the Senate tomorrow.
Some will breathe a sigh of relief, but what about those who have surpassed their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits?
Called the "99ers" these are people who, have left no stone unturned in looking for work, are relying on friends and family for food and shelter and frankly are at their wit's end.
According to the Washington Post, at the end of June 2010, over 1.4 million people have been unemployed for over 99 weeks.
"The 99ers are glaring examples of the nation's most serious bout of long-term joblessness since the Great Depression. Nearly 46 percent of the country's 14.6 million unemployed people have been out of work for more than six months, and forecasters project that the situation will not improve anytime soon. Currently, the Labor Department says there are nearly five unemployed people for every job opening."
Here are some of the stories you've sent me:
When Nov 2010 comes, and the tiers have stopped again, what’s going to happen? There will be more unemployed. What is the plan from the white house, and why is it that the people get punished for someone else’s mistakes? I have never in my life been thru this begging. It feels like I am back in slavery days. Everyone knows that this isn't right at all.
My Name Is Michael, and I am 51 years old.
I am a 99er and the section of North Carolina in which I live has been devastated by lay offs from the Furniture Industry moving most production to China and elsewhere. I have worked in the transportation industry for 28 years and sense production of furniture and other goods that were make here moving off shore. The transportation industry in not needed when nothing is being produced. Lenoir, North Carolina was called the "Furniture Center of the South", well not anymore. This area has been in a Depression for more that four years, with on end in sight, we need Help. I have sent Emails to my elected officials on Capital Hill. I am in the process of writing a letter to President Obama. I read your article on the Internet and saw your invitation for stories. If the news media comes here there is plenty to write about. NPR did a segment on this area earlier this year. Goggle built a server farm here but hired almost no one from here. Thank you for sticking up for the unemployed. We don't want a hand out we want a job and a fair shake form the Washington. We also want Senators to stop using unemployed Americans benefits as a time to suddenly want everything paid for without running a defect. Who are they kidding; the unemployed Americans will remember this come Election Day. And regardless of party, those who use hard working Americans for political gains will be removed from office. I feel the unemployed should ban together and form a movement that will make the tea party look like a church social.
I was laid off October 2008, went on interview after interview after interview. I registered with a number of staffing agencies, when I would call the agencies they would tell me, it's really slow right now, no jobs are coming in, this is the part that Congress pretend to be unaware of. It wasn't until stimulus dollars were put out there before companies began hiring again; a lot of the jobs that were created are temporary jobs. I'm a single parent taking care of 3 children; I have totally and completely depleted my savings since I've been laid off. I worked as a contractor and was paid weekly. I was the Executive Assistant for two VP's) prior to being laid off, my bring home pay after taxes was over $1,000 per week, when I worked overtime, I was at $1,200+ per week AND I was receiving child support in the amount of $400 per month. I wasn't wealthy, but we were comfortable and I was holding it down for my household.
To hear Congressmen say, "let them starve", "they're lazy", "they don't want to work" is an insult to the 3rd power. Why don't they take a 50% pay cut to help with the deficit since they care so much? My unemployment was $433 per week, doesn't come close to what I was earning, but it helped. Currently I have NO INCOME. I received my last unemployment check Thursday, June 17, 2010. My ex-husband was laid off; I have NOT received child support payments in approximately 14 months. I am not on welfare, I do not receive food stamps and I am NOT on any housing subsidy programs. I am BARELY making it. I have depleted all of my funds, the scary thing, if Congress continue to drag their feet, my children and I will be facing homelessness, no money to pay August rent. What kind of crap is this? Oh and we do have to pay taxes on the unemployment monies we have received, either way it goes, unemployed or not we're still paying into the system.
This is enough to drive a person crazy. I can't believe the situations I'm facing, it's unreal. I may not have Internet service anymore after tomorrow, any money to pay the bills. L-(
Make your voice heard! To contact your elected officials click here
To sign a petition or to learn more about a Tier 5 federal extension of benefits click
If you'd like to tell your story or leave a comment, please do, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading, if you'd like to get email notifications of my future articles, please subscribe using the "subscribe" button at the top of the page. No spam, only news.