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Sunday, February 21, 2010

NY Times Goodman: The New Poor

by Calculated Risk on 2/21/2010 09:00:00 AM

Peter Goodman at the NY Times profiles a few of the long term unemployed: Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs

Even as the American economy shows tentative signs of a rebound, the human toll of the recession continues to mount, with millions of Americans remaining out of work, out of savings and nearing the end of their unemployment benefits.

Economists fear that the nascent recovery will leave more people behind than in past recessions, failing to create jobs in sufficient numbers to absorb the record-setting ranks of the long-term unemployed.

Call them the new poor: people long accustomed to the comforts of middle-class life who are now relying on public assistance for the first time in their lives — potentially for years to come.

Yet the social safety net is already showing severe strains. Roughly 2.7 million jobless people will lose their unemployment check before the end of April unless Congress approves the Obama administration’s proposal to extend the payments, according to the Labor Department.
According to a recent National Employment Law Project (NELP) report, 1.2 million people will lose their unemployment benefits in March, and 5 million will be ineligible for federal unemployment benefits by June.