Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘unemployment benefits’

Thursday, February 16, 2012 9:28 EST

Raw Story   By- David Ferguson

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits has fallen to its lowest since March of 2008, the Associated Press reported Thursday morning. The national economy added 243,000 jobs in January, lowering the employment rate to 8.3 percent, according to the Department of Labor.

A government report noted that weekly unemployment application numbers have fallen from 361,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000. These numbers mean that businesses are laying off fewer workers and that the hiring situation may be improving as the economy struggles to come back to life. This is the fifth straight week that unemployment claims have been down.

The AP says that the economy has added an average of 201,000 jobs per month for the past three months.

A pick-up in retail sales has followed a short holiday slump. While many economists predict that the economy may slow down again as manufacturers have less need to replenish their stores of goods for sale, there is confidence that the economy is gaining its footing, growing at a 2.8 percent annual rate in the last quarter, a full percentage point over the previous quarter.

Nearly 13 million Americans eligible for jobs are currently out of work.

SOURCE

Read Full Post »

Huff Post- First Posted: 02/14/2012 6:15 am Updated: 02/14/2012 8:38 am

By- Jennifer Bendery

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is going on the offense Tuesday, raising pressure on congressional Republicans to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance benefits. But it is unclear if the president will accept a GOP effort to separate the two issues.

With weeks before both provisions expire, Obama will host an event at the White House and release a video to nudge Congress to act soon. The White House event, expected to kick off around 10:40 a.m., will feature Americans sharing stories about what the loss of $40 per paycheck means to them. That amount is about how much they would lose if the payroll tax cut isn’t extended.

Obama solicited help from the public in December when Congress last fought on the issue. Then, lawmakers failed to pass a yearlong payroll tax cut extension because they couldn’t agree how to pay for it, so they opted for a two-month extension for  time to reach a long-term deal. That extension expires in late-February.

“To everyone who went online last December and told us what it would be like to lose $40 in every paycheck, you should know that you made all the difference. Your voices changed the debate and reminded Washington what was at stake,” Obama says in the new video. “Well, once again, I need you. We all need you to speak out because if Congress fails to act soon, then taxes on the middle class will go up. So use the #40dollars hash-tag on Twitter or head to whitehouse.gov, and tell everyone what $40 means to you.”

White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer reiterated that Congress needs to reach an agreement by the end of February or 160 million Americans will be hit with a tax hike.

“In December, we asked America to tell us what losing $40 per paycheck would mean for their family, and the answers came from across the country — from students trying to stretch the budget a little bit further. From moms who need to buy their children lunch every day in the school cafeteria. And from commuters who are filling up the tank and looking at rising gas prices. Using Twitter, email and Facebook, they told us clearly that $40 can make all the difference in the world,” Pfeiffer wrote in a Tuesday morning blog post.

Obama’s latest push on the issue comes a day after House Republican leaders unveiled their own plan for a way forward: passing a 10-month payroll tax cut extension that isn’t offset and that isn’t connected to an unemployment insurance extension.

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

Tuesday morning on CNBC, the spazzy white guys in lower Manhattan were debating how the administration and Congress can best repair the economy, and mainly the jobless numbers. At one point, Rick Santelli, the hyperkinetic shoutcaster and instigator of the tea party movement, began to flail around, waving his arms above his head while yelling, “Stop spending! Stop spending! Stop spending!”

And contrary to accusations from one of the other spazzy white panelists, Santelli insisted he wasn’t calling for more tax cuts. Just a freeze in government spending. Somehow.

Fine. Show us another time in American history when a spending freeze — and a spending freeze alone — jump-started an economic recovery following a deep recession and high unemployment. Show us. Where in the world is Santelli getting this?

It doesn’t really matter from which hole Santelli’s latest television meltdown was extricated. Suffice to say, there is no historical precedent for any such thing. In fact, the often-referenced spending cuts of 1937 caused the opposite effect: a backslide in the economic recovery during the Great Depression. Oh, sorry. There we go again — referencing actual “history” instead of just screeching incongruous, contradictory and unsubstantiated nonsense, which seems to be the accepted style of discourse these days.

Santelli’s rant is just another performance in a broader strategy by the Republicans and tea party movement to deliberately sabotage the economic recovery. Not unlike Santelli’s “stop spending” idea, this is a strategy which also, to the best of my knowledge, has no historical precedent. For the first time ever — and this is worth repeating — one of the two major political parties in America is sabotaging a delicate economic recovery for the sake of humiliating the president and his party, and subsequently recapturing a political majority.

More than a year ago, Rush Limbaugh both predicted this and set the table for it to occur. They want the president to fail, and now it’s clear that they’re willing to take the economic recovery down in order to make it so. Is there any doubt who leads the Republican Party?

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Jim Bunning Impasse Puts Federal Employees Out Of Work

JOAN LOWY | 03/ 1/10 10:34 AM | AP

WASHINGTON — Two thousand federal transportation workers were furloughed without pay on Monday, and the Obama administration said they have a Kentucky senator to blame for it.

Federal reimbursements to states for highway programs will also be halted, the Transportation Department said in a statement late Sunday. The reimbursements amount to about $190 million a day, according to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The furloughs and freeze on payments were the result of a decision last week by Republican Sen. Jim Bunning to block passage of legislation that would have extended federal highway and transit programs, the department said. Those programs expired at midnight Sunday.

The extension of transportation programs was part of a larger package of government programs that also expired Sunday, including unemployment benefits for about 400,000 Americans.

Bunning objected to the $10 billion measure, saying it would add to the budget deficit. He didn’t respond to a request Monday for comment.

The impasse has provided the administration with an opening to excoriate Republicans for allowing popular programs to run out, even if only for a short time.

“As American families are struggling in tough economic times, I am keenly disappointed that political games are putting a stop to important construction projects around the country,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

Bunning Whines About Missing Basketball Game, Tells Dems ‘Tough Sh*t’ On Unemployment Benefits

Think Progress- By Pat Garofalo at 9:57 am

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed an extension of unemployment benefits on a voice vote. The Senate, however, has yet to act on the same measure, as various senators are throwing up procedural roadblocks. On Wednesday night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) asked for unanimous consent to approve an extension, only to see the motion blocked by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) over “a dispute over how [the bill] should be funded.”

Late last night, Democrats made repeated attempts to pass the extension by unanimous consent, and Bunning blocked them all. He then complained that the Democrats’ insistence on trying to ensure that unemployment benefits not expire had caused him to miss a college basketball game:

I want to assure the people that have, heh, watched this thing until quarter of twelve — and I have missed the Kentucky-South Carolina game that started at 9 o’clock, and it’s the only redeeming chance we had to beat South Carolina, since they’re the only team that has beat Kentucky this year — all of these things that we have talked about and all the provisions that have been discussed, the unemployment benefits, all these things. If we’d have taken the longer version of the job bill…we wouldn’t have spent three hours plus telling everybody in the United States of America that Senator Bunning doesn’t give a damn about the people that are on unemployment.

(Bunning’s beloved Kentucky Wildcats went on to defeat South Carolina.) Watch it:

At one point, while Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) were asking him to relent, Bunning was overhead blurting out “tough sh*t” as he sat in the back row.

Not only did Bunning’s antics go on all night and ultimately prevent an extension from passing, but other Republicans went to bat for Bunning, arguing that the Democrats should simply respect Bunning’s hold. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said, “I believe we’re stooping to a low level. This is not the way the Senate functions. Everybody in the country now knows that the senator from Kentucky has a hold on this bill. … That’s something that we honor in this body.”

“I just don’t think one senator ought to be able to heap this kind of suffering and misfortune on people who are already struggling in this economy,” Durbin said. “This is a wild pitch you are throwing tonight because it is pitch that is hitting somebody in the stands.” 1.1 million workers are scheduled to have their unemployment benefits expire next month, and 5 million will lose their benefits by June.

Update—  Sen. Durbin tried once more to pass the extension by unanimous consent this morning, and Bunning objected again.

Read Full Post »

Republicans Are Not Quite Right In The Head

Notice the constantly shifting realities. Republicans, when confronted with an indisputable fact, simply create different “facts.” It’s not that we’re in the grip of a worldwide recession and the numbers of unemployed people are tapping out the state unemployment funds, it’s that that government workers are simply wasting the money!

It seems the good governor is often mentioned as a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2012. I predict at the very least, this particular flavor of libertarian wingnut will go far with his visionary thinking:

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Just hours before the unemployment benefits fund was to run out in South Carolina, the state with the nation’s third-highest jobless rate, Gov. Mark Sanford relented Wednesday and agreed to apply for a $146 million federal loan to shore it up, after weeks of refusing to do so.

Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina announcing Wednesday that he had applied for the $146 million federal loan that would ensure continued unemployment benefits in the state.

The governor’s position had drawn rebukes even from fellow Republicans in the Legislature, one of whom denounced Mr. Sanford as “heartless,” and from newspaper editorial pages. On Wednesday, The State, the daily newspaper here in Columbia, accused the governor of playing “chicken with the lives of the 77,000” who are unemployed in South Carolina.

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: