More than one million unemployed Americans will likely lose their jobless benefits, as Congress prepares to adjourn without passing an extension to the program.
In New York City, 48,370 people will stop getting unemployment checks at the end of the year. In New Jersey, an estimated 78,000 people are affected.
“I can't believe that I'm in this situation, this is like beyond my worst nightmares,” said Manhattanite Paul Hallasy, who has been out of work since July. He says he has applied for more than 500 jobs, gone to networking events, and cold-called potential employers, without getting any job offers. Hallasy worked for 17 years in educational publishing.
During the recession, Congress extended jobless benefits to 99 weeks. Now, as the economy recovers, though not for everyone, federal benefits are returning to 26 weeks.