Unemployed New Yorkers stood in a silent symbolic bread line today in front of the Federal Reserve in lower Manhattan. The mood was somber.
Fourteen-year-old Dinae Anderson said that she had come out because both of her parents are unemployed, and her mother is also disabled.
The demonstrators were there to dramatize the fate of the jobless, as 2 million Americans nationwide face the imminent lapse of unemployment benefits. Federal unemployment benefit extensions are set to expire right after Thanksgiving, on November 30th, if Congress does not vote to continue them before that.
Any re-authorization of the extensions before they lapse is highly unlikely, as Congress is already on its Thanksgiving break and does not return to work until November 29th, the day before the current extensions expire.
As things stand now, after November 30th, people who are receiving one of the four tiers of extended benefits will be able to finish that tier, but not advance to another one. The long-term unemployed, known as 99ers, are also lobbying for a fifth tier.
It remains unclear whether any legislation that may be passed after the November 30th deadline would cover those whose benefits lapse in the meantime.
“Unemployment Insurance is a critical lifeline for families who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Approximately 2 million people, including 200,000 in New York, who are out trying to find work will now lose their benefits because Congress will likely fail to act. Both Democrats and Republicans should put partisan differences aside and do what is right for American families,” NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said in a statement to Examiner yesterday.
NOTE TO UNEMPLOYED READERS:
Do you have a frustrating or humiliating story to tell about looking for work? Have prospective employers interviewed you multiple times, offered you a position, invited you in “for training,” or otherwise implied that they are hiring you — and then not done so? Have you been rejected outright — even when applying for a volunteer position?
Please add your story to the “comments” section, or, if you wish to have it considered for posting on Naomi’s page, e-mail it to NaomiCohn@gmail.com. Thank you.