Widespread job loss and long spells of unemployment made 2009 the worst year in the labor market since the World War II era. And when jobless rates rise, higher poverty rates typically follow. Congress repeatedly extended unemployment insurance (UI) benefits during the recession, keeping many out-of-work Americans afloat, but others were unable to access benefits. High unemployment is expected to continue into 2010 and laterand ad hoc UI extensions will not counteract lengthy job separations or get Americans back to work. The unemployed, especially those out of work for a long time, need labor market policies that will provide long-term income support and speed reemployment.
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