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The jobless benefits bill: By the numbers
After weeks of partisan bickering, Congress extended jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed. Here's a numerical look a the battle
 
Unemployed Americans can enjoy more benefits.
Unemployed Americans can enjoy more benefits.
Corbis

Democrats have broken a prolonged Republican filibuster in the Senate over extending jobless benefits for long-term unemployed workers, with President Obama signing the benefits into law Thursday. While Republicans opposed the costly measure, citing the spiralling deficit, Democrats said the extension was the right thing to do both morally and fiscally. (Watch an AP report about the new bill.) Here's a look at the stats behind the stand-off:

15 million
Current number of unemployed U.S. workers

6
Months of unemployment that constitute "long-term" unemployment

2 million
Number of jobless Americans whose benefits will be restored by the new extension

7
Weeks since their benefits expired

7
Number of times benefits have been extended since the recession began

$34 billion
Cost of the benefit extension

$1.4 trillion
Current federal deficit

59-39
Senate vote to approve the bill

272-152
House vote to approve the bill

9.5
Official percentage of U.S. unemployment

5:1
Ratio of unemployed worker per job available

99
Maximum number of weeks of benefits allowed by the bill

26
Number of weeks of benefits that were guaranteed, pre-recession

35
Current average length of unemployment, in weeks

Sources: Reuters, Washington Post (2), New York Times, The Economist, LA Times

 

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