Debates in the Senate this week are looking mostly to extend the deadline to file for unemployment benefits and don’t seem to address the long-term unemployed men and women that stand to lose their benefits if no additional tiers are added, or have already lost those benefits. While there is nothing certain as of yet, there are mixed reports about when or if Congress will seek to extend the weeks of unemployment benefits available rather than just the dates in which to file.
99 weeks is the cap at the present time for unemployed men and women who are drawing benefits, and many believe that any additional weeks would promote laziness and be costly to the nation. However, the problem that still seems to elude many people is that, while there may be some taking advantage of these extended weeks of unemployment, there are many more that are begging for a job, don’t want to be using unemployment benefits as a lifeline, but are dependant upon them due to the job market.
In the past it was easy for someone to get a job within the 26-week period that was afforded to those who were unemployed, but now the number of job openings available are far too small for the number of men and women out of work. Also, the skill level, age, and education of many unemployed Americans disqualify them from even getting an interview for those few jobs that are open.
What it comes down to is many people aren’t sitting around waiting to max out their unemployment benefits before they get a job; rather they are using these benefits to barely get by as they exhaust employment opportunities in a job market that is quite unwelcoming at the present time.
While it is not a sure thing that more tiers won’t be added, it looks like the current debate may not address the issue. What many Americas are crying out for are jobs and they feel that if Congress and regulatory committees failed at their job of keeping the economy and country safe from greedy businesses and economic collapse then they have to pay the consequences. Paying for that inaction comes in the form of either opening additional weeks of unemployment benefits or doing more to create optimal conditions for job creation.