Long-Term Unemployed Face Grim New Year

There’s little to celebrate this holiday season for millions of unemployed Americans who are losing their extended unemployment benefits. Many depend on these meager payments, a federal extension of state unemployment programs that expired as of the last Saturday of 2013, to stay afloat. After tapping out their savings, downsizing their living space, and draining their retirement funds, one-time managers and MBA grads worry over what the new year will bring. "For a lot of people and a lot of families, this is their only income source," said NELP federal advocacy coordinator Judy Conti. "This could pull the rug out from under 1.3 million families," she said. Without an extension, an additional 2 million will fall off the rolls in the first half of the year. Hopes are not high for the unemployed this year, as bills accumulate and the thought of taking a job they are over qualified for becomes a reality.

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