One Percent of All Americans Will Have Lost Unemployment by Month’s End

More than one percent of all Americans–3.3 million people–will have lost their unemployment benefits by month’s end if Congress doesn’t pass an extension of long-term benefits.

The Labor Department estimates that about 1.7 million have lost benefits as of last week, after extended unemployment insurance expired in late May. Those numbers could reach 3.3 million by the end of the month if Congress doesn’t pass an extension after it returns from recess next week.


A bigger concern is the number of people who may lose benefits this month. The tally of people continuing to claim benefits plunged to 4.4 million, the department said. But that doesn’t include an additional 4.6 million people who received extended benefits paid for by the federal government in the week that ended June 19. That’s the latest period for which data are available.

Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, said many people losing extended unemployment may seek aid through Social Security, food stamps and welfare.

Other economists noted that the end of extended benefits could cut Americans’ incomes by as much as $41 billion, potentially reducing consumer spending in the coming months.

Think about that for a minute. More than one out of every hundred people has been unemployed for so long the Republicans and deficit hawks in Congress think they’re just slacking and should be cut off. Of course, those one out of every hundred people aren’t evenly distributed throughout the population: the less educated, people of color, and people over 50 are suffering disproportionately during this recession.

Nevertheless, they represent a huge chunk of our neighbors, our customers, our family members. And our country seems to have decided they and those who depend on them are expendable.

  1. BoxTurtle says:

    Are the workhouses not functioning? Are there no prisons?

    Boxturtle (Always loved Scrooge)

  2. sundog says:

    Next week, I find out if I get my next extension.

    Also, just for the record, I think every time a politician says I’m enjoying this or slacking, they should be punched in the face. I really fucking hate them. I know who the slackers are, it’s the asshole millionaires in D.C. who don’t know what real unemployment means. Maybe they should stop slacking and create some fucking real living wage jobs. Useless assholes.

    • hotflashcarol says:

      Sundog, as someone who is still gainfully (and gratefully) employed, I want you to know that I am in awe of those of you who are unemployed and still manage to get out of bed in the morning and carry on. I honestly cannot imagine how anyone gets by on unemployment in the first place; taking away that meager little safety net is beyond unconscionable. I feel like punching those assholes in the face too.

      • bobschacht says:

        I’ve been unemployed and on unemployment twice– the last time was within the last 10 years, when I was about 60. The folks at What Color is your Parachute are right– you have to make looking for a job be your job. You need to spend your days looking for new places to look for work, and how to sell your skills. It ain’t fun, but you can’t afford to give up.

        I just had an idea: Those of us who belong to a faith community should perhaps suggest that our faith community form a “Job Seekers Club,” led by an optimistic extrovert with good people skills. Such people are usually expensive, but members of a faith community are often willing to work pro bono for their own organization. Such a group could emphasize positive attitude, assertive skills, share ideas, etc. Since the present state of high unemployment is likely to persist for a while, might be a good thing to do. In fact, I’m gonna propose it to some people in my own faith community (Episcopal).

        Bob in AZ

    • geminorange says:

      they should be punched in the face

      I was thinking a little further south on the anatomy.

  3. Hugh says:

    1% of all Americans, but 2.1% of the American workforce of 154.767 million (unadjusted), 153.741 million (seasonally adjusted).

  4. TomThumb says:

    “Age 62 or Bust!” for me. I am worried about the one’s who have given up and have stopped ‘living’. It is one thing to stop a fruitless search for nonexistent jobs, and quite another to give up on life. I am worried about those in really bad economic straits. What will they do? Why can’t our society be more responsive to human needs?

    • hotflashcarol says:

      America: I got mine. Period. I don’t know how much longer our national delusion will last.

      • Indie says:

        What is missing from this discussion is the unwillingness of Congress to abide by its own PAYGO rules. Why is Congress unwilling to allocate un-used TARP funds or cut spending elsewhere in the budget to extend benefits?

        Politics. Dems want to paint the GOP with the usual memes of “cruel” “selfish” “tools of the rich”. So what do you have to say about a party that will allow their constituents to endure additional stress in order to score political points to preserve their own power?

        Americans want responsible, effective government. If unemployment could be paid for WITHOUT adding to the deficit (which leads to ever increasing taxes) there would be NO NEED for this post.

        Then there is this Rasmussen poll:

        “Most Americans would not pay higher taxes for specific public services in their states, but they are more supportive of paying for education and staffing law enforcement than supporting state employees and entitlement programs.

        The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Adults shows that only 19% would be willing to pay higher taxes to avoid layoffs of state employees. Sixty-nine percent (69%) say they would not be willing to pay more in taxes for this reason. Another 11% are undecided.

        Adults feel similarly when it comes to funding entitlement programs. Twenty-two percent (22%) would pay higher taxes to prevent cuts in entitlement programs for low-income Americans. Sixty-three percent (63%) say they would not pay more to keep these programs afloat. Another 15% are undecided.”

        • hotflashcarol says:

          Shorter Rasmussen poll: Americans are selfish, stupid assholes and will be shocked when their little experiment fails.

        • Mithras61 says:

          1) Unemployment is an insurance program, not an entitlement. Entitlements are welfare and food stamps (and IIRC, welfare is limited to two years lifetime maximum for benefits). Unemployment insurance is one of those things that employers and employees both pay into and that you supposedly have paid for (kinda like Medicare – another insurance program, or Social Security – yet ANOTHER insurance program). Furthermore, the TARP funds you are so hot to reallocate are already consumed (I think you probably are referring to the stimulus funds, not TARP), and were a loan to banks not a cash outlay with no thought of return on investment. The stimulus funds (your other frequent “reallocation” target) are already assigned to projects and are doing their job, so reallocating them would be robbing Peter to pay Paul, and would likely have a significantly reduced stimulative effect (not that they were anywhere close to sufficient, but we’ll take what we can get here).

          2) Unemployment is seen by some folks as being payment for being lazy or indolent, and that perception is the farthest thing from the truth. EVERYONE who is drawing unemployment MUST BY DEFINITION be actively seeking employment. There are requirements in EVERY state I’ve lived in (over 10 at last count) that require a minimum number of applications to positions FOR WHICH YOU ARE QUALIFIED (not just any ol’ empty position, y’hear?). Furthermore, unemployment insurance payments are frequently the only thing standing between formerly working Americans and living on the street, so even if it was a handout and not insurance, it would likely still be worth it (yeah, lets just dump 10% of the population out of their homes and onto the streets – didn’t we try that in the 30’s?), and the payments are usually so small as to barely allow these folks to make ends meet (meaning they aren’t buying Cadillacs or saving it – they are SPENDING it – a MUST for demand to be increased!), so any payment to these people is going to have a stimulative effect on the economy as a whole (something your tax breaks for the wealthy have NEVER had and never will have!).

          3) Since businesses are around to make money, and since they have idle capacity, they aren’t going to be adding payroll unless there is an increase in DEMAND for their products that they are unable to meet with current staff and capacity. UI is one of the BEST methods for increasing demand when business CANNOT or WILL NOT do so, and if we REALLY want to reduce the deficit, government stimulating the economy until businesses can (or will) take up the slack is one of the most effective ways of doing so. It isn’t just money thrown do a rat-hole. It’s an investment in the economy that has historically had a sound return on investment.

          4) Just wondering – do you EVER get tired of trolling here? Every time I see one of your posts, you’re either provoking someone or spouting some B.S. right-wing talking point. Has it occurred to you that this is a progressive site, and that we don’t buy the B.S.?

        • bluedot12 says:

          You are just out of touch or maybe just don’t give a shit. The idea of unemployment is like insurance to maintain people when things get bad, like now. And it is not doing the job. It is not an entitlement program. Most of us think of it as a right, we paid for it already.

          Of course, no one wants to pay more taxes. Most of the people you ask that question of can’t afford to pay more, but the asses that got the lion’s share of the Bush cuts and the repugs can and they damn well should. I, for one, want that tax reimposed at the end of the year and I want the cap on SS raised. Taxes must be fair and they are necessary even if you don’t like them. As they are now they favor the rich folks – those making over around 250k per year, as you obviously do. Either that or you are trolling against yourself.

          Further, deficits are not always bad, in fact trying to pay if off now is idiotic. If you don’t understand that you should read up some more. So pay as you go is bullshit at the moment.(of course, if you want to stop a war or two on account of it, let’s have at it. )

        • edve says:

          An old saying that goes something like: Walk a mile in another man’s (woman’s) shoes…

          Perhaps that exercise might instill a sense of humility and humaneness, we have enough snobbery and down right ugliness towards our sisters and brothers in this world…

          Try it!

  5. ShotoJamf says:

    Other economists noted that the end of extended benefits could cut Americans’ incomes by as much as $41 billion, potentially reducing consumer spending in the coming months.

    Duh, ya think?

  6. geminorange says:

    But doesn’t getting all of these people off of unemployment benefits cut the reported unemployment rate drastically?

    • bluedot12 says:

      Hey, maybe that’s the thinking inside congress and the WH. All will be well when these lazy people get off the dole.

    • jawbone says:

      Why, yes! Yes, it does make the gov’t unemployment figures look better.And they’ve already been manipulated to look better….

      Shadow Government Statistics says the actual unemployment number is a hair under 22% —

      One-fifth of our nation’s workforce unemployed!!!

      Once upon a time we had Democrats in power who gave a damn about one-fifth unemployed, ill-housed, ill-fed, ill-health cared for….

  7. bluedot12 says:

    Why are our congress people and the President not screaming about this? I have not heard very much at all. Maybe they all secretly agree: these unemployed are all lazy asses. Ben Nelson should be hung out to dry.

  8. playfyte says:

    I feel that after a while, those of us that are still aware and attentive to what is happening, start to see what really happens when we allow the Gordon Gekkos of the world have their way. We gave the big money interests large tax breaks and in many cases gave some corporations subsidies. To me subsidies means tax payer money. All the while thinking that if we let them keep more of their profits they will create more jobs. What actually happened is that they gave themselves pay increases, bigger bonuses and shipped many jobs overseas where they saved many millions more on labor costs. Now, I hope we can see what it actually cost us. When detroit started building cars in Mexico they saved themselves a couple of thousand dollars per car. Did the price of their cars go down by a couple of thousand dollars?? Of course not. That would be ridiculous, right?? Now we are incurring the cost of having less jobs and having to find a way of keeping millions of families afloat. People who are wealthy or are unaffected by what’s happening have the luxury of looking down their noses and criticizing the unemployed but can offer no solutions. It is obvious also that the majority of our elected officials in washington don’t have the guts to do what is needed to help. It isn’t the republican party. It isn’t the democratic party. It is the party of incumbents. Those that are already there and are more focussed on being reelected than on solving the problems. At this point, I figure we have more than enough laws on the books to cover almost every aspect of everyday life. Now it is time they get to work on getting a handle on what’s best for the country. Stop giving away the future of the nation to greedy people who have no allegiance other than their wallets. Stop engaging in expensive and fruitless wars. Start creating an environment where the american inventor and entrepenuer can shine again. There are a lot of great ideas out there. Look up “Water as fuel” on youtube and you will see. The problem is that these people don’t have millions of dollars backing them and that no one really owns water. So, who will invest in american intellect in the twenty first century?? It is time that elected officials stop acting as agents for the big corproations and as if they are obligated to them. Live up to your oath. We challenge you.

  9. VADEM says:

    Yup. I used the last of my benefit 2 weeks ago. I got a letter saying that unless Congess passes another extension I’m done. So the way most unemployed see if is we have few options. Commit suicide, live on the streets in a tent. At 59, i cannot collect SS and there is no welfare here for single people with no minor children. No homeless shelters for women-except for the Salvation Army that is alwys full. Maybe $100 a month in food stamps. There are very few jobs here and then hundreds apply for one job. Zero rental assistance.

    What are we supposed to do now? i sure wish our politicians would answer this for me. We are screwed big time.

    • hotflashcarol says:

      Please don’t commit suicide. For what it’s worth, your post made me cry. On behalf of America, I am SO sorry. I wish I knew what to do.

  10. bluedot12 says:

    Geez, this is fucking terrible. What do people do? Go to their families? this will destroy families and relatives and friendships. It will fucking destroy all of us. And still the repug fuckers will get elected this year. Fuck them and fuck the spineless dems who stand around with their fingers up their asses. A special Fuck You Nelson.

  11. VADEM says:

    My question is why do democrats continue to put Nelson in office year after year? Talk about voting against their own interests. Are his constituents THAT fucking stupid? Really?

    • ScoutFinch says:

      I’ve heard that unemployment in Nebraska is like 4.6%. So I’m sure for Ben and all his friends, it just doesn’t seem like a big deal.

      However, I’m sure if we all called to cut off the farm subsidies, it would be WWIII in the heartland. And unemployment would go up!

      This is what is fundamentally wrong with the Senate: the two people from each state are so concerned about THEIR state and THEIR asses that they DO NOT CARE about the rest of the country.

      I thought America was for all Americans, that we helped each other out. I guess that’s another dumb idea I was raised with that I should toss out the window, along with the Golden Rule.

      • VADEM says:

        You’re right. Reid needs to threaten to yank his sorry ass off some committees if he doesn’t vote for it next week. Now I also hear that the guv of W. VA may NOT appoint anyone for Byrd’s seat but just wait for the special election in Nov. So HE can run. Guess W. VA must not have an unemployment problem.

        So I am out of hope. I don’t see it getting through, especially without one peep out of our president.


  12. bluedot12 says:

    In my rather small corner I find this unemployment and the related benefits the most important thing we got going. It’s bigger than the damn oil spill and Jindal complaining every day. And bigger than the wars. And that idiot Sarah and friends. Don’t fix this problem and it will be with us forever. Doesn’t anyone in our government give a shit? It all seems rather abstract, can’t increase the deficit you know. Horseshit!!

    • hotflashcarol says:

      We seem to have an unlimited, magic pot of money for war, for bailouts, for anything the corporate overlords deem important. But not to keep regular American families from starving to death out on the streets. What a country!

  13. edve says:

    There have been countless posts and literally thousands of comments here at FDL about the unemployment disaster that is these United? States of Amerika! The truth is, we are basically ‘preaching to the choir’, and in no way do I have a problem with our ability to reach out to one another and talk about what a clusterfuck this situation is.

    Many of our sisters and brothers, literally and figuratively are just about starving at the gilded gates waiting for the fat cats and the elite snobs to let some fuckin breadcrumbs fall from their silver platters to allay the hunger…and let’s not even engage anyone with the fact that it IS OUR GOD DAMN MONEY to begin with!

    I just believe deep down in my heart, the pullers of the levers of power are not concerned one bit, unless it demonstrably affects them in their wallet or their ability to garnish votes to keep their ironclad grip on the power. We go over and over with what they should do, but THEY ARE NOT LISTENING! We mean almost nothing to them.

    I am convinced that the only thing they will ever understand, is when the nation and the citizens rise up, and throw them out of office and return the country to a place where the common people are heard and cared for. That will mean a gigantic upheaval and I simply do not think the people of the nation either have the will or the where with all to do what is so obviously needed.

    My wife and I are on the slow moving agony train that will eventually mean, retirement money gone before our retirement age, no help with any type of job, now or later, regardless that we have worked all our lives as professionals, and with the advent of SS being gutted or partially gutted, I guess we will join the crowds that will be herded into the tent cities or the debtor prisons…those realities seem at hand in the not too distant future.

    So, for what’s it’s worth, once again I happily join in the chorus and shout: ‘Fuck you degenerate scumbags who have done this to me and my brethren, and may a pox befall all your houses of greed and inhumanity’.

    • TalkingStick says:

      You all are in my view representative of what was once the great middle class. And your, our, impoverishment will not stop until we do empower ourselves. I come down with Lakhoff –– Link to recent article — most I guess, We have the message, we have the facts, historical and even scientifically. But we are lousy at promoting what we know to be true and good. Daily I see rhetoric and responses in the media everywhere by our so called political interest groups. Most of the time I feel they were born dumb and never changed.

      We simply must develop some articulate leadership of our own and take on this evil narcissisms promoted by the rich. We have the facts..

  14. ChePasa says:

    Bad as this is, and it is bad, don’t forget at any given time 40% to 60% of the unemployed never qualified for unemployment benefits to begin with. With so many people now seeing their benefits ending, the number of unemployed who receive no benefits at all is growing exponentially.

    There are no workhouses and the prisons are full. Welfare is being cut back to the nub because the states are broke.

    Many of the unemployed will never have a job again. That’s by design, that’s no accident. Many or most of those who do return to work will do so for lower pay and reduced benefits, again by design, not accident.

    And look at this wrt Social Security: the unemployed don’t pay Social Security taxes, and those who return to work at lower salaries pay less into the system than they otherwise might. That means their Social Security checks will be lower, in some cases substantially lower, than they would be if they had been able to keep working. The Catfood Commission should be clapping and dancing, eh? Social Security benefits are being automatically cut for the unemployed.

    There are so many other negative consequences for maintaining such a high unemployment rate and for limiting or eliminating benefits for the unemployed. Once this process gets going, it just keeps ratcheting down the living standards of the middle and working classes, so that their betters can continue gambling and living high on the hog.

    That is why millions of Americans are being forced into poverty and destitution every year: so that the Ruling Class can continue to frolic.

    And Our Captive Government is paralyzed. No matter what we say, no matter what we do.

    • bluedot12 says:

      Well said. And what happens if this continues undefinitely? I said it before, I say it again, this is issue number one. Get the people back to work !!!!!

  15. workingclass says:

    I am seeing rage in this thread. That’s good. Rage radicalizes people. Also the beginnings of class consciousness. That is also good because it is the prerequisite for unity. American workers will have to set aside their differences and come together to defeat the Fascist overlords.

  16. captjjyossarian says:

    The politicians couldn’t say it any clearer. They want chaos and civil disobedience.

    As for Indie’s crazy poll. It’s entirely slanted. First off, the majority of Americans are barely keeping thier heads above water. Thier wages have been headed down for the last 30 years and now they are supporting out of work friends and family members.

    The only folks who should be taxed more are in the top 1%. And besides, government can spend a lot more than it’s currently spending without returning to inflation.

    Rasmussen should poll the following questions:

    Should the top 1% be taxed more to provide social safety nets and a return to a full employment economy?

    Should the big banks be taxed more to provide social safety nets and a return to a full employment economy?

    Is a decade of extremely high unemployment an acceptable policy option?

    IMO, the big banks and related economic royalty need to be bound and shackled in irons just like they were under the New Deal.