The debate over unemployment insurance has Congress in a deadlock. Those opposed to extending emergency benefits argue that doing so only promotes an "idle" class of jobless Americans. Those in favor say it's the only safety net the unemployed have in today’s difficult labor market.
The recent jobs report did reveal some promising news: overall unemployment appears to be decreasing, suggesting a strengthening job market. But for the long-term unemployed, the situation is not as favorable. Compared to the overall unemployment figures, long-term unemployment is falling at a much slower rate, and many are dropping out of the job search completely.
On our program, we take a closer look at unemployment, both on a state and national level. What is the condition of the labor market, and what can government do to stimulate more job growth?
- Alex Seitz-Wald - Political correspondent for The National Journal
- Kurt Mitman - Co-author of a paper, "Unemployment Benefits and Unemployment in the Great Recession: The Role of Macro Effects," and works at the University of Pennsylvania's department of economics
- Nick Perna - Economic Advisor to Webster Bank
- Mike Pelletier - Connecticut resident who has experienced long-term unemployment