Most of the unemployed no longer receive benefits

November 6, 2011 • Business

FILE – In this Aug. 25, 2010 file photo, a job applicant receives advice on his resume while attending a job fair in Southfield, Mich. Nearly all states provide up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. During the recession, Congress added up to 73 extra weeks in states with especially high unemployment. As a result, up to 99 weeks of benefits are available in 22 states and up to 93 weeks in four other states. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, file)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The jobs crisis has left so many people out of work for so long that most of America’s unemployed are no longer receiving unemployment benefits.

Early last year, 75 percent were receiving checks. The figure is now 48 percent — a shift that points to a growing crisis of long-term unemployment. Nearly one-third of America’s 14 million unemployed have had no job for a year or more.

Congress is expected to decide by year’s end whether to continue providing emergency unemployment benefits for up to 99 weeks in the hardest-hit states. If the emergency benefits expire, the proportion of the unemployed receiving aid would fall further.

The ranks of the poor would also rise. The Census Bureau says unemployment benefits kept 3.2 million people from slipping into poverty last year. It defines poverty as Login to read more

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