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PNS Daily Newscast - October 20, 2017 


In focus on our Friday Rundown; the U.S. Senate takes a first step towards passing major tax cuts; holiday help wanted as retail and restaurant job opportunities abound; plus, we report on a website that helps new moms take 12 from work.

Daily Newscasts

Safety Net for Unemployed Coloradans Due to Expire

November 22, 2010

DENVER - About 15,000 Coloradans are at risk of losing their unemployment benefits during the holiday season, unless Congress takes action by the end of the month. Late last week, Congress failed to pass a measure which would continue extended unemployment insurance for the long-term unemployed.

However, voters favor continuing that support by two to one, according to Guy Molyneux at Hart Research Associates, who just finished a poll.

"Sixty percent of American voters said yes they favor continuing the benefits. Just 37 percent of voters nationally said they opposed continuing those benefits. "

Republicans in Congress have said they don't want to increase the deficit to continue help for the unemployed. But Molyneux says strong support among voters continued even when reminded of the federal deficit. Congress has never ended these benefits when the unemployment rate is above seven percent. It will take up the issue again on November 29th -- the day before the benefits are set to expire.

Continuing the support would not add weeks of unemployment insurance, just pay for the additional weeks now available. Those additional weeks can be a lifeline for the long-term unemployed.

Robert Pugh is 59. He has worked steadily since he was 16, mostly as a chef but more recently as a financial analyst. That job was eliminated this year, and he says he has about four weeks of benefits left.

"I'm barely surviving. I can pay my rent, buy enough food to eat, pay my insurance, put gas in my car. If I run out of benefits, I'm going to have to move out of my house, and basically I'm going to be homeless."

An estimated 2 million people nationally will be cut off in December unless Congress extends federal support.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, unemployment benefits are the single most efficient form of economic stimulus. One estimate says 700,000 additional jobs exist because of federal support for the unemployed.

More information is available on the National Employment Law Project website, www.nelp.org.

Kathleen Ryan, Public News Service - CO