Petition to Congress
Renew Federal Unemployment Insurance Now!
To the Leaders and Members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives:
Your action is urgently needed to reauthorize the full federal unemployment insurance program through December 31st 2013. Unless you act to renew federal unemployment insurance, nearly 2 million hardworking Americans will be cut off in the month of January alone. Millions more would have this critical lifeline cut off in ensuing months
These are Americans who haven't chosen to become unemployed -- they've been laid off and desperately want to get back to work. But they now face the worst job market since the Great Depression.
Of the 14 million Americans who are unemployed, 46 percent -- more than 6 million -- have been jobless and looking for work for six months or longer. The average duration of unemployment has been more than six months for over two years, and the average job search for an unemployed worker now lasts more than 9 months. Today, the unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent and has been above 8.5 percent for more than 43 months.
Congress has never cut back on federally-funded unemployment insurance when unemployment was anywhere near this high for this long.
In the last four years, federal unemployment insurance has helped more than 17 million unemployed Americans when they've had to look for new work for more than six months.
Now is not the time to let these programs lapse or expire. It would be unthinkable for Congress to cut-off this vital lifeline for so many hardworking Americans who are struggling to find work when jobs are so scarce. Allowing unemployment insurance to expire would have devastating consequences for millions of jobless workers and their families -- and it would deal a severe blow to the economy and to communities across the country.
Congress must act now to renew federal unemployment insurance through 2013, and take additional steps to help avert layoffs, create good jobs, end discriminatory job market practices that exclude the unemployed, and get real help to long-term unemployed workers including those who have exhausted unemployment benefits.
We call on the Leaders and Members of Congress from both parties to put partisanship aside and make the right choice for America's families and our economy: Renew Unemployment Insurance Now!