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Rep. Napolitano Supports Extension of Unemployment Benefits

September 22, 2009
Press Release

(Washington D.C.)- Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano joined other members of the House of Representatives today in passing a thirteen-week extension of unemployment benefits for the 29 states and territories with unemployment rates greater than 8.5%. In California, which reported an unemployment rate of 12.2% in August, 68,713 people will be without benefits by the end of September and 154,328 by the end of December unless this legislation is signed into law.

“This is great news for Californians,” Napolitano said. “This bill is being fast-tracked and will provide a safety net for the unemployed until economic growth makes more jobs available.”

The benefits are being funded by a one-year extension of the federal unemployment tax, a tax more than three decades old that currently costs employers $14 per year, per employee. There are currently more than six unemployed workers for each job opening, and the number of workers unemployed for longer than six months nationwide is at an all-time high of 5 million.