Unemployment Jumps As Benefits Set To Expire For Some

CHICAGO (CBS) — Unemployment hit an unexpected jump in November, hitting 9.8 percent nationwide, the highest it’s been in seven months. The numbers weren’t much better in Chicago, where unemployment was at 9.7 percent.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports that unemployment has been a double blow for some families, who learned this week that their unemployment benefits are about to run out.

“It is emotionally difficult to deal with,” Larry Rotheiser said.

His emotional challenges started a year ago he went from bringing home $8,000 a month in automotive sales to under $2,000 a month on unemployment.

Next month, his family contribution could drop to zero if his federal unemployment benefits aren’t extended.

“Christmas is coming up. The kids know it’s not going to be the same,” Rotheiser said. “Things get tougher and tougher; then you’re tapping into your retirement funds and your savings and college funds.”

Protesters who gathered downtown Friday echoed Rotheiser’s frustrations over trying to find a job and worries about unemployment benefits running out.

They called on Congress to extend unemployment benefits which are set to expire this weekend.

“We found out this morning that unemployment actually went up last month, that basically no jobs were created and yet Congress is allowing unemployment benefits to expire for people who have been unemployed for less than a year,” protester Susan Hurley said. “On average, it takes people a minimum of six months to find a new job in this economy, so there are a lot of people that are not able to find work. They’re getting cut off of benefits going into the holiday season.”

“They’re gonna end up hungry and homeless. They can’t buy gifts for the kids and it’s just a horrible situation and we need immediate action to extend unemployment benefits,” she added.

Rotheiser agreed that unemployment benefits should be extended.

“This money that they’re giving is not being put away into people’s savings, it is going back into the economy,” he said. “For a lot of people, that’s their only means to eat, to pay for transportation, to go look for work, to stay in their homes.”

LISTEN: WBBM 780’s Mike Krauser reports.

Electrician Dave Pruzinowsky said, “There’s just not really a whole lot of hope out there.”

Academic Lorraine Chavez said “I was laid off, because of the economy, for the first time ever in my entire life.”

Anthony Scorzo, another out-of-work electrician, had the humbling experience of moving back home.

“It definitely is humbling. I’m very glad that they were there for me, but some people aren’t as lucky as me. Some people have kids.”

Chavez is one of those people and she said she’s tired of hearing that she’s over-qualified for jobs she’s been trying to get. She has two kids in college, has lost her benefits, and her brothers-in-law are in the same boat.

“It is a family tsunami. We are all professionals. We have graduate degrees. We have been in the same professions for twenty years. We are actually at the top of our fields,” Chavez said.

What it says to her is that “the entire structure of the American Dream and promise has completely disintegrated.”

The weak jobs report served as a reminder that the recovery is proceeding fitfully. Economists say it will take up to 300,000 new jobs a month to reduce the unemployment rate significantly.

“The U.S. may have to face the fact that unemployment is going to be high for a long time,” said Drew Matus, a senior economist at UBS. “There are people who need to be retrained for new jobs and that will take time.”

  • JeanSC

    I wish reporters and government employees would stop using “find a job” as a synonym for “secure a job.” We who are unemployed and have skin in the game have and continue to “find” enough jobs to manage. What’s not happening is our securing these jobs. In most cases, our sincere applications are completely ignored. Sometimes we get a response. In rare occasions, we’re actually interviewed. Getting hired is even more unusual. In another angle, we sometimes become aware of work that must be done, but doesn’t have an employer attached to it. Many employers discriminate against the unemployed, and there are quotations in the media slandering us. Then there’s illegal discrimination, much based on age, which many unemployed people can’t afford to sue over, even if the EEOC would take it. Finally there’s peremptory job discrimination, which employers can do with no penalty. When the % of people who are unemployed long-term increases, you have to know – and say – it’s because of discrimination, not qualifications.

  • A

    People like myself, have less then a month left. What then? we are all homeless, living on the streets and the government just says its ok to let this happen? Yet those who have chosen welfare as their way of life are not affescted. I cannot find work. I have been trying since I got laid off. I do not live off the state, because they will not allow me anything including food, because Iw as told I CAN work. Of course I CAN work, I just cannot find a place to work AT!!! Those that live in their happy homes, like the white house, do not care about the people who are going to die because they cannot live inside a home or have food. This was a bad year, but 2011 is going to be catastrophic. Way to go American government :(

  • Twin

    Who’s concerned about Christmas in times like this…….Just say no or if you can’t bear to dissappoint someone ( which shouldn’t make a difference) just say I can’t afford to give anything this time around……anyways people need t learn how to prioritize instead of digging a deeper hole……Holidays really are for enjoyment of each others company and not about a DAM gift…..GHEESH……..

  • c

    I recently went on a job interview to be informed that they were skeptical about my resume because I haven’t worked since Mar’09’. Excuse me but where do you live because Im quite sure that wasnt the first time they heard that and MOST definitely wont be the last. The nerve of her and I’ve been really looking for work

  • Alicia M. Kraynik

    I have 2 jobs and I still won’t be able to stay afloat. Good bye world.

  • http://thedailyconservative.net/2010/12/03/unemployment-jumps-as-benefits-set-to-expire-for-some-%c2%ab-cbs/ Unemployment Jumps As Benefits Set To Expire For Some « CBS … | The Daily Conservative

    […] original post here: Unemployment Jumps As Benefits Set To Expire For Some « CBS … Share and […]

  • Non-affected individual

    Based on your comment, I assume you’re not affected by the halt of unemployment compensation. It’s not about not being able to buy a gift, but the fact that there will be many people that will not be able to enjoy the comforts of family and friends because they won’t have a damn thing on the table to eat. Don’t you think everyone is entitled to be able to sit down and have a decent Christmas dinner and not have to worry about where their next meal is coming from???

  • CDM

    Is everyone enjoying the Change? Thanks voters, you got what you voted for!

  • DNS

    I just sent my GOP senators real nice email thanking them putting me out on the street while supporting immigrating 35,000 people to the U.S. each and every month.
    They should be applauded for supporting illegals over the American worker. Bet they will enjoy their turkey dinner at Christmas.
    So if you have a republican senator send them a thank you for playing Scroodge and being stupid about the economy.

  • Joe

    Hey Chicago…how’s that hopey, changey thing you unleashed on the rest of us working out? How democrats get a single vote astounds me except they prey on the unthinking.

  • Becky

    It is not a CHANGE thing or a REPUBLICAN DEMOCRAT thing this has been going to happen for about 20 years(both parties involved! I believe everything will have to fail for it to get better, it is not going to be easy anywhere or for anyone! You cannot Year after Year get 3% raises and everything goes up20% or more the math doesn’t equal! Until everything fails and prices come back down to reality we can maybe start over. There are no companies willing to do the cutting of profits to help with the economy so it must fail. No one wants to lower prices on food ,housing, gas ,toilet paper, everything to get back in order with our pay, There MUST BE CHANGE in whatever form that is to make any of this work again and have the American Dream back! That is not partisan!!!!!!!

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