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Millions to lose US unemployment benefits

December 1, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Millions of the country's unemployed will begin to lose their unemployment benefits on Wednesday unless Congress changes its mind, and for those job seekers receiving extended unemployment benefits, it's more important than ever to find a job.In downtown Los Angeles, hundreds of people attended a job fair at the L.A. Convention Center with only 100 jobs available - and a lot of the jobs are commission only.

It illustrates the problem across the country - the economy isn't getting better fast enough to provide jobs for everyone.

The unemployment rate nationally is 9.6, while in California, the unemployment rate is 12.4 percent - the nation's third highest.

Unemployment benefits are expiring for about 2 million Americans. It amounts to about $300 a week, and when you don't have a job, it's a lot of money.

It's been extended several times already, and some people have been getting unemployment benefits for close to 99 weeks. During normal times, unemployment benefits average about 26 weeks.

The fight isn't about whether the unemployment benefits should be extended, but how to pay for them. Republicans want some type of payment mechanism, while Democrats, in general, want to add it to the deficit.

Some economists argue that the unemployment benefits help stimulate the economy, and without them, we could see the economy drop a little bit.

Meanwhile, those out of work are struggling to figure out what to do with the holidays approaching.

Job fairs on Wednesday

Choice Career Fairs at L.A. Convention Center
1201 S. Figueroa St.
10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
www.choicecareerfairs.com

Inland Hires at Hilton Ontario Airport
700 N. Haven Avenue
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
www.inlandhires.com

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