Unemployment Holding Strong, Jobs Won’t Return Until 2012

A long wait lies ahead

Image from Flickr.

Image from Flickr.

The ridiculously high national unemployment rate (9.8 percent) has convinced Congress to consider a bill that would allow people to collect unemployment for an additional 13 weeks. However, an unemployment extension of three months might not be long enough for many people.

CNN Money reports that the job market will get better — in a year or so. Actually, the forecast says it won’t be until summer of 2012 that employment is back up to normal rates. Though people are starting to apply for auto loans again and spend a little more, the unemployment situation is not getting any better, and in many places it is actually getting worse.

How do they know?

The recession is crawling to an end as reports show the economy actually grew last quarter. Still, it’ll be a long time before there are enough jobs to go around. CNN explains:

Jobs are what are known as a trailing or lagging indicator, meaning that they change in response to other economic events, rather than predicting changes the way a leading indicator, such as the stock market, does. That’s because even after a recession has ended, employers are slow to add staff until they’re sure that demand has returned.

The article from CNN also points out that the last two recessions we’ve had were followed by a “jobless recover,” and this one probably will be, too.

When is unemployment extension vote?

Though the unemployment extension legislation has already passed the House, there is not a vote scheduled for the Senate yet, which is bad news for people whose benefits will be running out soon.

The length of time a person can collect unemployment is different in different states, but anyone who is on unemployment right now most likely will not be able to continue collecting their checks until the summer of 2012, even if Congress does pass the unemployment extension.

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