Most Unemployed Don’t Receive Jobless Benefits

According to a new report, only about 25 percent of unemployed workers received jobless benefits last year — a record low, according to a report by the National Employment Law Project.

Contrast that with 2010, when 68 percent of workers received benefits, according to the report released Tuesday, which makes public policy recommendations often aimed at helping the long-term unemployed. People join the ranks of the long-term unemployed when they have been without work for at least six months. Just before the recession began in December 2007, 37 percent of the unemployed received benefits, the report said.

“We are sending a wake-up call to state and federal policymakers that it’s time to strengthen our unemployment and re-employment programs to mitigate the severe consequences associated with job loss and extended unemployment,” said the report’s author, Claire McKenna, a NELP policy analyst based in New York, in a news release. “It’s important to get a jump on this before the next inevitable downturn hits.”

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