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More Than 1 Million May Lose Extended Unemployment Benefits In December

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(Credit: Thinkstock)

(Credit: Thinkstock)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – More than a million people may lose their unemployment insurance in just a few weeks if Congress fails to extend a Great Recession program that increased the number of weeks for which unemployed workers qualify.

According to the Washington Post, 1.3 million Americans will lose their unemployment insurance when the program ends. An additional 800,000 workers will lose their benefits from the program in the next few months, the Post reported.

The program was enacted during the economic downturn as a means to help workers and stimulate the economy. The Post reported the program, which provided unemployment benefits up to 99 weeks has helped inject “about $225 billion into the economy all told.”

The loss of unemployment benefits could end up with most of those workers simply dropping out of the workforce by giving up looking for a job, according to a JP Morgan analysis. With the loss of those workers from the labor force numbers, it could shift the unemployment rate lower.

While that would likely make the unemployment numbers look better; the reality could yield a drop in consumer spending and further problems in the economic recovery from the Great Recession, the Post reported.

Still, getting Congress to act on anything in 2013 hasn’t been easy. The House and Senate will be in session at the same time for just five days in the month of December. The House only has eight days left on its working calendar.

Congress hasn’t acted on a federal budget, a farm bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, approving a head of the Department of Homeland Security or the U.S. Federal Reserve. Overall, Congress has approved 55 laws this year, the worst performance of any Congress in history.

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