Unemployment Still High

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL - Mary Johnson lost her restaurant job in late 2008. With no unemployment benefits, she’s living on food stamps and doing odd jobs.

“Sales and lots of cleaning jobs,” said Mary.

Some Floridians will soon need a lesson in survival from Mary. At the end of the year three federally funded unemployment programs are set to expire and thousands will have no income.

“We estimate that approximately 100-thousand Floridians will lose these benefits on or around December 4th, and approximately 40-thousand a week thereafter,” said Robby Cunningham, a spokesman with AWI.

A stalemate in Congress is causing the benefits to expire. Lawmakers could reach an agreement in December to reinstate some of the programs, but with Congress making a right turn with new members in January any extension could be short lived.

At issue is borrowing 12 billion dollars to extend the benefits for three months. Conservatives say we can’t afford it, but they are anxious to pass a 200 billion dollar tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. In the meantime state business taxes are tripling to pay for the unemployed.

“It will difficult for many businesses to afford that kind of an increase at a time when they’d rather be spending dollars hiring new employees,” said David Hart with the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The tax won’t come down until Florida’s unemployment rate drops. Labor statistics released Friday show the state’s unemployment rate stagnant at 11.9 percent.

The Agency for Workforce Innovation will be working over the Thanksgiving weekend to help people find out if their federal benefits are in jeopardy. They are also asking job seekers to logon to Employflorida.com to look over the more than 200-thousand jobs posted there.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Shaunequa Location: Quincy on Nov 21, 2010 at 07:04 PM
    Work, I voted for Obama so I wouldn't have to work. What's the problem here?
  • by Anonymous on Nov 21, 2010 at 05:11 PM
    Let's put the blame squarely where it belongs, a Democrat controlled Congress, and a Democrat White House. You can blame Bush to kingdom come, but for the past four years, he is irrelevant. The democrats are using this as a political ploy. Just before Christmas you'll be seeing news stories with mothers crying because they can't buy gifts for their kids etc., and it's all because the evil republicans wouldn't extend the benefits. Eh, the repubs don't take control of the House until January. Oh, and there is no 200 billion dollar tax CUT for the wealthy. The republicans are fighting to STOP a 200 billion dollar tax INCREASE for everybody.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 21, 2010 at 07:36 AM
    Obama is very well educated .Harvard, Columbia. This is not happening to us because he is dumb. This is happening because he is smart. He knows what he is doing. You underestimate him. You think this is happening bcz he dumb. It is not. It is happening bcz he wants it to happen. He wants to redistribute America's wealth not to the poor in this country but to the world. He wants one world. He is very bright. He is getting exactly what he set out to get.
  • by Common $Cents on Nov 21, 2010 at 07:20 AM
    You had a job when the other guy was President. You don't now. All you have is a bunch of finger pointing going on to divert your attention from the real plan for change. Not everybody is for capitalism just because we are. The other president was without a doubt definitly for capitalism this guy is not. He is for Marxism. Our jobs are not coming back becuase he does not want us to have our independence. You are being naive. He hates capitalism. Didn't you hear his mentor Jerimiah White, get on tv and say God D!!!! America. This guy does not like America's Economic and his plan to destoy it by spening us so high in to dept are only out will be one global economy. You can keep trusting him if you want. He wants to in slave you.
  • by Cheryl Location: Florida on Nov 21, 2010 at 06:23 AM
    @Anonymous on Nov 20, 2010 at 02:44 PM...I would shoot too if someone was trying to rob me. I work hard for what little bit I have and no lazy, trying to get easy money person is going to take it from me.
  • by Wally Location: cairo on Nov 21, 2010 at 06:06 AM
    bush caused this economic mess. you stupids go ahead and keep blaming obama.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 20, 2010 at 08:52 PM
    Wall Street bonuses this year $115 billion dollars. Over $30 trillion dollars to bailout the ponzi fraud of MBS and derivatives. Aren't you glad they were given welfare for billionaies. Google : "Federal Reserve admits to losing $9 trillion dollars" more like Fed steals $9 trillion dollars.
  • by Want to work Location: Quincy on Nov 20, 2010 at 08:16 PM
    I want to work, but can't find any and I worked for 15 years it's not that people want to set home and get unemployment hell I want to work I don't fault Obama, but the stupid people thats out there that's put the fault on Obama you got to understand some of you tried to get him out of the White House before he put his foot in the door, but like I said before all this started before he got there, and to think it's going to be easy to fix the problem overnight, think again, Obama you got my vote and will get it again, but if we don't work together this will aways be an ongoing problem...
  • by job for life state worker Location: tally on Nov 20, 2010 at 02:09 PM
    it cost too much to extend unemployment. there is plenty of jobs out there.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 20, 2010 at 11:44 AM
    @Cheryl, there is likely to be more jobs available at funeral homes resulting from what you suggest will be robberies vs those who have a concealed weapons permit and are ready to fire at the drop of a hat.
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