Number of the Day: 877,000
The JOLTS Report for November was released today, which means we'll be updating our Stat Pack shortly.
What's more important is that the House passed HR 3630, the "Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act of 2011"
From the GOP's legislative digest page, HR 3630:
"would use a two-step process to gradually reduce the current maximum amount of time total benefits could be distributed in states with high unemployment from 99 weeks to 59 weeks by mid-2012."
From the House Ways and Means Committee's one-page summary (PDF link), subtitled "Helping those Struggling in the Obama Economy & Protecting Taxpayers By Reforming and Reducing the Overexpansion of Unemployment Insurance":
"The Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act bill permanently reforms unemployment insurance (UI) and reduces the current maximum weeks of benefits from 99 to 59 weeks by ending expansions signed into law by President Obama."
"The legislation reduces the maximum benefits from 99 weeks to 59 weeks by mid-2012. This level reflects more 'normal' levels – up to 52 or 59 total weeks of UI have often been paid after recessions since the 1970s.
There's one huge problem with those 'normal' levels, though: we're not coming out of a 'normal' recession, as this chart from Calculated Risk makes perfectly clear:
We've been tracking how many people are out of work, and for how long. As of November's unemployment report, 877,000 men and women have been out of work for between 60 and 98 weeks. That's not counting over 2 million 99ers.
That's 877,000 people who are about to lose a financial lifeline. The House just voted to cut that lifeline short by five months today, and five more months in mid-2012. Perhaps Ways and Means Chairman Camp can explain how cutting UI for 877,000 men and women and their dependents is "helping those struggling."