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SAY WHAT: Unemployment Benefits


How long is too long to offer unemployment checks to someone who lost their job ? Every week reporter Matt Hammill asks for your thoughts on the issues of the day.  This week he listens to your opinions on unemployment benefits.

The number of people looking for jobs is down from one year ago, but the lines at job fairs and job services offices tell the tale of the long-term unemployed.  They are the ones who fuel the debate over how many weeks a laid off worker should receive checks from their employment fund and then the federal government.  Should benefits last 26 weeks .. 52 weeks .. or 99 weeks?


I think at least a year.   Barb Cray stops on her way into Newbo Market to say the current economy is making it tougher for some people. At least a year.  Jobs are not that easy to find right now, so they have to have time.  That opinion is echoed by Chris Johnson.  He says its important to give people a chance to get back on their feet. 99 weeks.  Im not sure if thats fair or not, but I just feel for the people who have trouble getting the jobs.  Ive known people who were seriously looking for work and just couldnt find it. 


On our Facebook page, some of you are much more skeptical about the time it takes for some to find work.  Tom writes .. Theres no need to continue to allow these leeches to take money.   Garrett says 60 days.  Why look for work if Big Brother pays you to do nothing for years?   But Amy Posts .. As long as someone is trying to get a job I think a year is okay.. this from someone who tried for 8 months to find a job. 


Meantime back in Newbo, Greg Stole says when you consider the economy and shifting job market, the unemployed need to be serious, but also need some time.   I mean the way everythings changing around, some jobs go away and some jobs come up, if you really want to take care of your family I think in a year you should be able to find some good employment.


Congress has the extension of unemployment benefits at the top of its agenda as lawmakers return after the holiday break and the White House plans to lobby for quick passage.  Republicans say they arent anxious to pay the price unless some other spending measures are cut. If you would like to join in the debate, youll find it going on right now on our Facebook page.



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