Behind The Mic With Joe Mathieu: Unemployment Benefits To Expire For 33,000 In Mass.

By Joe Mathieu, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) – There’s no turning back now.

Benefits for the long-term unemployed will expire December 28. And there will be no last minute deal to stop it. Congress is on recess and there’s nothing anyone can do.

Not that this comes as a surprise. In fact, I started talking about it earlier this month.

But another extension was not included in the budget President Obama signed Thursday. And while Democratic Congressional leaders pledge to seek an extension early next year, this will be reality for thousands of people starting Saturday.

Specifically, 1.3 million Americans will lose their safety net and our area will not be spared. That number includes 33,000 people from Massachusetts – about half the total for New England.

These are people who have been unemployed for a year or more. And not everyone thinks they deserve more help.

In fact, this is yet another issue that falls on party lines.

Most Democrats are pushing for an extension. But most Republicans are not because they say it makes people less likely to get hired. And one thing we don’t need in this country is more people giving up on the job market.

In October, the Economic Policy Institute counted almost 5.7 million people who had dropped out of the workforce. They just gave up looking for a job.

If they were counted by the Labor Department, the nation’s unemployment rate would be at least 10-percent.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz

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