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Unemployment Benefit Exhaustion Highest in 60 Years

The economic rebound has missed millions of working people, according to several reports released last week. Some 43.4 percent of the people nationwide who began receiving state unemployment benefits last year exhausted their benefits without finding new jobs, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reported. That is the highest benefit exhaustion rate in more than 60 years. The reason for the high level of long-term unemployment is the lack of jobs, EPI said. In 2003, the share of the unemployed who had been seeking work for six months or more was 22.1 percent, the second highest share on record, EPI found. For more information, visit www.epinet.org. Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released two reports demonstrating the impact of companies exporting jobs. One report found increased losses in manufacturing jobs (2.7 million since George W. Bush took office in 2001) have stretched trade adjustment assistance (TAA) resources in the states to the limit, resulting in waiting lists. A second GAO report found exporting jobs is a growing trend that cannot be ignored and the agency plans another four studies of its impact on various parts of the economy. U.S. workers now can find out which employers in their communities or industries are shipping jobs overseas and speak out for saving good jobs with Job Tracker (www.workingamerica.org/jobtracker), an online interactive database created by WORKING AMERICA, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO.


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