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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Here come the '99ers

by Calculated Risk on 12/12/2010 01:30:00 PM

"This is just as scary as people lobbing mortars over your head at 2 o'clock in the morning."
James Mitchell, a 64-year-old Vietnam veteran who lost his job in early 2009 and is about to exhaust his unemployment benefits.

As I mentioned last week, the proposed tax legislation provides no additional help for the so-called "99ers". The "extension of the unemployment benefits" is an extension of the qualifying dates for the various tiers of benefits, and not additional weeks of benefits.

The above quote is from an article by Richard Read in the Oregonian: Oregon aid agencies brace for tens of thousands losing unemployment benefits

Each week, about 600 Oregonians exhaust jobless benefits. In January, about 4,000 a week will lose coverage. And state officials expect those numbers to spike in April when more than 35,000 people will exhaust benefits in a single week.
If Congress acts within days to extend emergency unemployment compensation nationally, 14,000 fewer Oregonians will lose benefits in April. But President Barack Obama's proposed extensions ... won't do anything for those who exhaust the maximum 99 weeks of jobless benefits.
The mass exhaustion of benefits, an echo effect of the great recession, is unprecedented ...
Unemployment, here come the 99ers Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows the change in payroll jobs each month. The peak job losses were in early 2009 - and 99 weeks is just under two years - so many of those people will be exhausting their benefits over the next few months.

There is much more in Richard Read's article - he discusses how the local aid agencies in Oregon are preparing to help, but there is only so much they can do.