WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) today joined with 27 of their Senate colleagues to call for a long-term extension of emergency unemployment benefits to help New Jerseyans keep food on the table during the holiday season and provide for their families in the coming year.
In a letter being sent to Senate leadership on Monday, the Senators urged continuation of the current federal benefits through Dec. 31, 2011. Without action, benefits will begin to expire next week.
In their letter to the Senate Majority Leader and Chairman of the Finance Committee, the Senators wrote: “Currently, the national unemployment rate is 9.6 percent. At the current rate, without a reauthorization, we would cut the life line that millions of Americans use to stay afloat. Equally importantly, we would endanger our fragile economic recovery by reducing the amount Americans spend on groceries, utilities and other basic needs.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, two million workers will lose their unemployment benefits this December. Each month after that, over one million more would fall off the rolls, and by April 2011, six million workers would be without benefits. In New Jersey, more than 140,000 individuals currently receive unemployment benefits.
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