2 Million Lose Jobless Benefits As Holidays Arrive

Wednesday, December 1, 2010
By Paul Martin

Holidays about survival as jobless benefits end

FoxNews.com
December 01, 2010

Shawn Slonsky’s children know by now not to give him Christmas lists filled with the latest gizmos. The 44-year-old union electrician is one of nearly 2 million Americans whose extended unemployment benefits will run out this month, making the holiday season less about celebration than survival.

“We’ll put up decorations, but we just don’t have the money for a Christmas tree,” Slonsky said.

Benefits that had been extended up to 99 weeks started running out Wednesday. Unless Congress approves a longer extension, the Labor Department estimates about 2 million people will be cut off by Christmas.

Support groups for the so-called 99ers have sprung up online, offering chances to vent along with tips on resumes and job interviews. Advocacy groups such as the National Employment Law Project have turned their plight into a rallying cry for Congress to extend jobless benefits.

Things used to be different for Slonsky, who lives in Massillon, Ohio. Before work dried up, he earned about $100,000 a year. He and his wife lived in a three-bedroom house where deer meandered through the backyard.

Shawn Slonsky’s children know by now not to give him Christmas lists filled with the latest gizmos. The 44-year-old union electrician is one of nearly 2 million Americans whose extended unemployment benefits will run out this month, making the holiday season less about celebration than survival.

“We’ll put up decorations, but we just don’t have the money for a Christmas tree,” Slonsky said.

Benefits that had been extended up to 99 weeks started running out Wednesday. Unless Congress approves a longer extension, the Labor Department estimates about 2 million people will be cut off by Christmas.

Support groups for the so-called 99ers have sprung up online, offering chances to vent along with tips on resumes and job interviews. Advocacy groups such as the National Employment Law Project have turned their plight into a rallying cry for Congress to extend jobless benefits.

Things used to be different for Slonsky, who lives in Massillon, Ohio. Before work dried up, he earned about $100,000 a year. He and his wife lived in a three-bedroom house where deer meandered through the backyard.

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