Extending unemployment benefits

Friday, December 2, 2011 - 12:22pm

This morning, the Labor Department reports new job numbers, and a new unemployment rate. Predictions are cautious and economists are worried about what'll happen if Congress doesn't extend unemployment benefits, and this year's payroll tax cut.

Lawmakers have yet to work out this payroll tax cut as we learn today how many Americans are still looking for work.

Occupy protesters - unemployed: "I refuse to get a job in this modern economy until our government decides that the minimum wage is gonna be livable," says Occupy D.C. Protester Kyle Szlolck.

But millions of Americans are looking for work. Today we find out how many were successful last month.

Economists predict flat 9% unemployment with 125,000 new jobs after a report suggesting private companies went on a hiring spree. "That sparked the belief by a lot of economists that maybe we would get a better and more optimistic look at jobs," said CNBC's Hampton Pearson.

For those already working, the Senate rejected Democrat and Republican plans to extend the payroll tax cut that expires this month. "Our plan protects Social Security and reduces the federal deficit by more than $111 billion dollars," said Senate Minority Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

The White House disagrees. "Fact of the matter is, it's an unbalanced approach," contends White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney.

Republicans are concerned about the impact on Social Security. "Any drop in revenue resulting from a temporary reduction in the payroll tax that is not paid for will harm the Social Security Trust Fund and accelerate the program's looming bankruptcy," said House Speaker John Boehner/ (R) Ohio

Extending unemployment benefits, also up in the air.

4 out of 10 of America's jobless have been unemployed for over six months.

Today, the Obama Administration announces 4 billion in private money and savings to make federal buildings more energy efficient, a move that is expected to create more jobs.

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