As the day wore on, it became apparent that a much watched unemployment bill in Washington had enough votes to pass the senate. The markets, anticipating this news, have been up all afternoon and Sirius XM participated. Earlier today it was announced that unemployment rolls are down, but the deeper news is that many have exhausted their benefits and are no longer counted as unemployed. With this new legislation, if signed, some 2.5 million who have had their benefits lapse will once again be on the unemployment rolls. Currently the nation has an unemployment rate of 9.5% (excluding those that are no longer receiving benefits). The numbers are indeed staggering. Some have been unemployed for over two years, and have simply decided not to seek employment. The legislation passed by a 60 to 40 vote.
As people debate the health of the economy, there is still the unavoidable fact that a large percentage of the population is unemployed. With the potential return of benefits to many who are unemployed, the gears of the economy might be able to get back on track. There is even discussion that the benefits could be retroactive. This will line the pockets with much needed cash for those who have spent the last months trying to figure out how to buy the groceries.
If nothing else, the pure numbers of people without work is an indication that the economy has a long way to go before an official recovery can be announced. That being said, the restored benefits should at least help people out while the march to recovery trudges along.