The most recent report on unemployment insurance claims, released today by the Department of Labor, shows an increase in claims this past week. This comes with on the heels of news from Congress that the unemployment extension approved in December is still waiting to be passed.

Department of Labor Jobless Report

The Department of Labor (DOL) report, for the week ending February 20th, shows an adjusted increase of 22,000 unemployment insurance claims over last week, from 474,000 to 496,000. Extended unemployment benefits were made available in 36 states and the District of Columbia, however, the Senate failed to extend the benefits in a recent bill, meaning that a stopgap measure is necessary to continue coverage of millions of unemployed, while Congress debates a substantial extension.

Senate Divided Over Extensions

Currently, the law providing extended benefits is set to expire on February 28th, and there is no law in place to pick up the slack once it expires. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has tried to push back the expiration date on the law for an extra 30 days, to allow for continued coverage while Congress debates a new law, but Senator Jim Bunning (R. -Kent.) has objected, saying that it would be too costly.

If the law is not extended, thousands of people will begin losing their benefits starting March 1st.

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  • sixerjones

    Bunning..shut your mouth..You don't extend watch what happens..depression baby..dems need to grow some cahoonas and jam it down the elite rep. throat..send the foreigners back to there countries and then jobs will open up so I can get off unemployment..

  • amanda

    This is ridiculous and causing worse stress for the unemployed and there families. Not knowing if they can pay there bills or put food on the table next week. I'm sure Bunning will enjoy a nice dinner tonight while millions are wondering how they will eat if extension isn't passed. We need the extension to help until my husband lands one of the few jobs out there that 100+ people are also applying for. He doesn't want to be unemployed and stuck at home. But until jobs become available our bills need to be paid. Pass at least the 30 day extension so we can stop stressing and get some sleep.

  • Kate

    Bunning and others alike try giving the Americans out of work a chance to survive instead of passing raises for yourselves and funding a million a day for our poor soldiers in an unfavored war in middle east or try giving the 40 million over 55 americans still in the workforce an incentive to retire like a wall st. bonus to each with the stipulation they retire and open up 40 million obs, there are many ways to save the economy rather than not extending a measley amount in an unemployment extension that people are trying to survive on til they get employment.,

  • Jerald Schreiber

    This is a absolute shame, people like Bunning definitely need to be voted out of office asap. They could care less about the millions of unemployed people in this country. Of course its all roses for these pompus republican senators who sit in there plush mansions, while those of us who need unemployment to just survive are on the verge of not even having a home at all.

  • joefromjoburg

    Contact Bunning's office at (202) 224-4343 and tell him to stop blocking the extension.


    I am a single parent and trying to survive without losing all we have to homelessness. My child depends upon me to provide and despite continuous job searching for the past 7 months I have not been able to find a job. It is hard enough to survive on unemployment, and have no medical insurance and been denied for medical card because I collect too much(LOL) This extension needs to be extended to give us hope that our government is ssuuportive to our efforts to get back on our feet. THAT UNEMPLOYMENT KEEPS US FROM LIVING ON THE STREET!!! I NEED A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP AND THIS WEEK IT HAS BEEN IMPOSSIBLE WAITING TO FIND OUT IF ON MONDAY WHEN I AM SUPPOSE TO CERTIFY IF I WILL BE REJECTED. SAVINGS HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED AND I CANT SEE AFTER 7 LONG MONTHS OF HOPE THAT I WILL GET A JOB IT COULD BE GONE BECAUSE LEGISLATION IS IN DOUBT WHETHER OR NOT WE NEED IT, YES WE DO! WHAT HAPPEND TO YES WE CAN?????

  • lilly

    Joefromjoburg, thank you ao much for this phone number. I have called and, of course, got some young girl who really didn't know anything except to tell me that Bunning is a good American who is only concerned about how the government is going to pay for this. How about being concerned about the 1.2 real live American people who, when they lose these benifits, will send our enconomy into a unrelenting downward spiral and the hundreds of thousands of addditional foreclosures that are going to transpire. She couldn't tell me how he feels about that…………

  • fran quittel

    Let us “unemploy” bunning and next charles schumer take away their salaries and see how fast they turn around. In fact for all of Congress, this was preventable and it is outrageous in every regard. Why not just give all the taxpayer's savings and $ to the hedge funds, big banks, Toyota, health insurance companies and so on. ridiculous lack of being able to strategize your work. These guys should read Steven Covey: put first things first and stop being George Soros' best friend.

  • lostmostlyeverything

    Just look at like this nothing has improved in the last year!!! So lets all face it we have lost here in America one more time lets just give up there is no way out!!!

  • lostmostlyeverything

    Might be time to go out and have lots of kids so we can atleast have medical and food coverage!!!

  • Tim

    We bail out banks, and auto companies, why not help the unemployeed? Also we can help any and every other country in the world, but we can not take care of our selfs?

  • leigh

    We need to have our employment extented because there are just no jobs at this time. I have been out there looking for over 1 and 1/2 years and still nothing i have put resumes all over with no luck. So please congress just because you have a job and don't have to worry about supporting your family, please don't let us down. We deserve to be able to provide for our familys as well. We don't want to become homeless, I fear for my family if I don't get an extension, we will be out in the street. What do i tell my children. So please if not for the adults then for the families with children who depend on us to provide. Please consider the extenion and help us out.

  • JLJ

    Well i hope all american will wake up on this it shows they dont care about you who voted for these pepole in office but they go to exstremes to protect these ilegels who take are jobs!!. And the rich bankers just remember you can fight back they need to be voted in office two terms too get what they want.And what they want is retrierment & medical .Just make sure they only get elected one term any more and maybe they would work for the pepole agian. some pepole dont know about there good fortune after in office two terms tell all youer freinds some will be shock to now this. This will be are fight back

  • Whatnow

    Contacted Senator Bunning's office to voice my opinion…….of course he's unavailable, but a woman took my message to pass on. When I asked her to read it back…..she mumbled and fumbled. In other words no message will be passed on. What a discrace this P.O.S. is. My last UI payment falls 1 week shy of the deadline on the 27th. Looks like Ramen Noodles for my family….cooked outside with a fire in a 50 gal drum.

  • kenrich53

    I've been looking for over 5 1/2 months now and submitted over 200 resumes. I've had three interviews. Most responses I get, not qualified. I've got over 37 years in administration and I can't get a job as a clerk typist. ???? Next election, I'm voting everyone out of office, that I can, that has anything to do with not extending unemployment benefits.

  • don

    Bunning will not seek third term / he has nothing to lose/ google him. washington post 7/28/2009

  • American Dream

    whatnow…..i feel ya. I'll be telling my bank I'll be making my final mortgage payment, and its not because I'm paying it off. Good thing I stocked up on cardboard boxes.

  • lord help us

    If their is no unemployment extention,you better lock up all your valuables.Crime will go through the roof.Starving people will do what ever it takes to feed their families!

  • donaldopeoples

    Bunning, Kyl and their ilk are cowardly chickenhawks that don't relate well to the needs of real people. They should never be allowed to effect the lives of other human beings.

  • beveleywaterbury

    yes vote them out. time to take to the streets.

  • Anonymous

    I was watching on TV tonight..couldnt even stand to hear bunning little alone look at him. I wonder how he sleeps at night. I wouldnt want to be in his shoes…lots of angry crazy people.

  • Anonymous

    Jim Bunning is NOT the man I saw pitch a perfect game in ’64. He has become the perfect poster-boy for term limits. Sen. Bunning has just lost his membership card to the human race.

  • disgusted

    Bunning says ‘tough shit’, maybe he should eat some. He must be afraid the extension will eat into his perks. He can sign a few baseballs at a baseball card show for a few bucks. Arogant pig.

  • John Satanian

    Really mr bunning you want to stop unemploment extentions for millions of americans when thats the only way of surviving for alot of us?what do you think people are going to do when they need money to feed themselfs or thier familys?what are you trying to do make us all criminals?stop it if you must but dont be surprised at what happens after you do because people need money to live and there are no jobs to get so you can create your own hell

  • John Satanian

    You are your own king mr bunning and this will be the hell you have created.this man is a total disgrace to all americans!he approved all that money for the wars but he doesnt want people to have unemployment to keep a roof over thier heads and thier familys heads?im telling you if this goes into effect people are going to go crazy and all bets are off.I cant believe this government is will to gamble with peoples lifes this way they need to wakeup before it is too late

  • John Satanian

    I have any many people have young children what are we going to do?what are we supposed to do with our children?this can not be real what im reading it has to be a must be nice to be a senator and live a rich lifestyle and worry more about a basketball game than peoples futures!mr bunning is not fit to run mcdonalds never mind a senator

  • georgemcfly

    Listen, I think Bunning is an idiot. I mean the guy was a pitcher! But sending foreigners back? You are most likely an uneducated person with low income because you're not too smart. It's “their countries”, not “there”. Mabye you can use some stimulus money to finallly get your G.E.D.

  • Richard Meyer

    Bunning doesn’t care if you vote him out. He’s probably got enought time in office to get his fat $134,000 a year retirement check. All he’s concerned about is giving his rich buddies a tax break. Dead buddies at that. Well people, this really shows you just how absolutely useless our congress is. 11 million Americans are in desperate need of help. No jobs. We’ve all heard the never ending stories about hundred’s of resumes and no response. I’m one of them. All Bunning can say is, “Pay for it first.” We can’t pay for it idiot! There’s no jobs! This is your fault! You signed all the bone head trade deals that sent the jobs( including mine) to China! If you had your way you would probably send every last one of them overseas so another one of your rich buddies can get another tax break. Hope you are proud of your useless, low down, no good for nothing self. Millions of Americans tonight will have to explain to their famlies why they will lose their homes, not have food on the table, not have heat in the house, not be able to buy shoes for the kids. Next I want you to explain to your Rebuplican buddies there in the Senate why they will lose their jobs in November. Oh, I forgot. You’ll be retired and living off the the unemployed.

  • ruegernukem

    I’m an ex auto worker, I can not find a job at all. I had one interview. I have no plant to go too, Buy a American so your neighbor isn’t steeling from you.

  • KIM

    I am in tears as I type this IDK how my family will survive we have been eating barely canceled cell phone and all unecessary bills kept the internet on hoping to be able to do job searches that will be gone now…As far as the rent no unemployment no rent…homeless with my 2 worked my whole life…25 years had tough times before but this time I see no light at the end of the tunnel I apply for jobs actually get some interviews but not the job …I asked the last interviewer…told me over qualified..that there were younger less qualified and they would do it for less pay…

  • Anonymous

    Well, although I disagree with Bunning’s decision, he’s paid to make the best decision he can. If that means no unemployment extension, so be it. He is right about one thing, this 15 billion to extend benefits has to come from somewhere. If we pull it from other areas of the government, such as medicare, seniors and other groups who rely on that money won’t get it and then they suffer.

    • Downriver

      Bunning, a multi-millionaire and no stranger to voting for deficit spending, will go home to his Kentucky mansion this weekend with the comforting thought that he just screwed over 1.6 million Americans and every single state in the country. Now each state will have to retroactively provide the extension which will be much more costly. His unemployed constituents, of whom there are many, must be ready to string him up.

  • Starliene

    Bunning says it would be too costly to push back the date??? Not as costly as it is going to be to to deal with all the unemployed men and woman and their families who will no doubt end up in the street homeless!!!!!!!!

    I am disgusted with people who get off on thinking they have the power to make or break a persons lively hood. He no doubt lives a comfortable life. Someone should snatch away his income asap and see how he likes it.

  • terri

    No one is going to force me to work a minimum wage jobs that barely pays for gas. There are some really stupid and mean people out there that just don't care if people eat. This is our money that is being kept from us.



  • Chris

    Let's look back to Henry Ford for guidance……”You need to create good paying jobs so that people can afford to by your products (cars in Mr. Ford's example).” I would say unless all parties to the situation embrace this idea we are in serious trouble.

  • Chris

    Let's look back to Henry Ford for guidance……”You need to create good paying jobs so that people can afford to by your products (cars in Mr. Ford's example).” I would say unless all parties to the situation embrace this idea we are in serious trouble.