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More than two millon jobless workers stand to lose their unemployment insurance benefits this holiday season -- unless Congress renews the two related programs that extend them. Millions more will lose their benefits as the months go by.

As of October, jobless workers who were actively looking for work had been seeking it for an average of nearly 40 weeks -- far longer than the average covered by regular state UI programs. There are five of these workers for every job available.

Up to now, expanded UI benefits have helped jobless workers and their families keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. They have also provided a big "bang for the buck" stimulus for local economies. This will all end unless Congress acts within the first 15 days it's back in session.

Most economists don't expect the unemployment rate to return to anything like normal until 2015, perhaps longer. So Congress should extend the extra weeks of unemployment benefits through at least the next calendar year.

Urge your members of Congress to extend the federal unemployment insurance programs now!

Photo credit: Gastonmag

Letter to
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
As you know, the federal unemployment insurance programs that have provided extra weeks of benefits during these tough economic times expired on December 1. As a constituent, I urge you to give top priority to renewing them through 2011.

More than two million workers will otherwise lose their benefits this holiday season. Millions more will lose theirs as the months go by.

Last year, unemployment benefits kept an estimated 3.3 million Americans out of poverty. They have also provided a big "bang for the buck" stimulus to local economies -- according to the Congressional Budget Office, as much as $1.90 for every dollar invested.

This is no time to let expanded benefits lapse. There is only one job available for every five workers who are actively looking. And most economists don't expect the unemployment rate to return to anything like normal until 2015.

So please do all you can to ensure that the federal unemployment insurance programs continue through the upcoming calendar year.

Sincerely,