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99ers Crisis About to Get Much Worse

December 14, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

I’ve been trying to make the point that the 99er problem — people exhausting all unemployment benefits without finding a job — is about to get much worse because we’re approaching 99 weeks from the brunt of the recession unemployment spike. Congress is not planning to add more weeks of unemployment benefits and the Federal Reserve is projecting the unemployment rate to stay pretty much where it is for the next year. Putting it all together, this means that for the foreseeable future, there will no jobs and no government support for the millions of 99ers.

This graph from Calculated Risk showing three years of job losses makes it very clear — millions of people who lost their jobs in the deepest part of the recession are about to be dropped off a cliff:

Adding insult to injury, 99ers are not even tracked by the government. The way the employment statistics system works, when people go off of unemployment, they are not considered part of the work force and not factored into the numbers for employed or unemployed. This is why we have no firm number of 99ers, and why it’s so easy for policymakers to ignore this crisis.

Expect homelessness, the suicide rate, and despeartion-related crimes to spike. And remember to look at this when the consumer recovery doesn’t turn out as rosy as expected over the next couple years.

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Displaying 91-120 of 144 total comments.

  • Comm_reply
    quitwhining 12/14/2010 2:41pm

    Bombard their systems? Are you serious? This has NOTHING to do with your local office employees. Why screw them over to make a point to those elected who will not be effected at all by you continuing to file. I truely hope those you voted for are not as ignorant as you. Don’t blame those who work for the DOL, write your congressman.

  • Comm_reply
    beenblue 12/14/2010 3:23pm


  • Comm_reply
    quitwhining 12/14/2010 4:33pm

    Right. Thats what you need to be doing rather than look for a job. Take personal attacks at people on a blog. That a way beenblue. Make sure to bring that up in your next interview when you decide to start looking for a job when your free ride is over.

  • Comm_reply
    beenblue 12/14/2010 7:46pm

    Never get into a battle of wits with an unarmed person is my motto, but for you I would make an exception, since it`s YOU who are calling people names, and once again come trolling this site to spew your vile nonsense on an emotional day. And by the way how many jobs can one look for at night, or can`t you read a clock or tell time. I never did like homeschooling, especially for people with special needs. And as an aside, my free ride, and next interview and job, is obviously, and thankfully, not in your hands whiner.

  • Comm_reply
    Liberal4Change 12/15/2010 1:30pm

    Bureau of Labor Statistics does not use unemployment insurance to calculate the unemployment rate. Here is a link explianing how it is calculated

  • felixsmom 12/14/2010 1:18pm

    99ers/Exhaustees – It’s NOT TIME to give up yet! Please join us at and fight for additional weeks/Tier 5. We still have S3607 to fight for, and a similar bill from the House Ways and Means Committee.
    We’ve received more positive and accurate press over the last week than ever.
    Our numbers are growing (sadly) and we are NOT going away.

  • Comm_reply
    seanurse 12/14/2010 1:45pm

    reply to felixsmom you are so true. we can’t give up. fight,fight.fight!!!!!!!!! we are the true baby boomers and giving up isn’t our nature. we invented piketing and riots for change. so why stop now were ahead.

  • Comm_reply
    beenblue 12/14/2010 2:00pm


  • seanurse 12/14/2010 1:40pm

    ok donny I just listened to the press conference with reid. He stated there was several amendaments that would be added to the bill before the vote. Do we know which ones. I heard one was brought up on the floor today for the 99ers. please let us know when you do. thanks and i’m still hoping!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • DeborahJBrown 12/14/2010 2:09pm

    The government know there are about 5-6 million 99ers and that there will be millions more losing all benefits in a few months. That’s why Republicans haven’t been screaming about the cost and instead are talking about unemployment to create an illusion implying that they are doing something good for ALL the unemployed. They know that many people are fooled by this LIE. There is only one real Republican agenda – tax breaks for the wealthy. Obama acts like he thinks that his “deal” means Republicans will back off and stop implying that he’s not citizen, a Muslim terrorist, takes too many vacations, etc… but he’s mistaken. Once Republicans get what they want they’re done “negotiating” with Obama. Republicans stated their goal to see that Obama would be a one-term President. That’s looking possible now that he’s betrayed the people who voted for him and chastised his own party for upholding his principles. He knows he is harming the greatest victims of recession, it’s not accidental.

  • Comm_reply
    Abaratarrr 12/14/2010 8:45pm

    that would make since if it was not true that republicans have historically provided more weeks of unemployment benefits then Obama,

  • Sher1 12/14/2010 3:11pm

    KEEP the FIGHT ALIVE for TIER 5.. EVERYONE continue to fax that letter to your Congressman and CALL if you can. Nothing has passed and there is NO bill President Obama can sign so lets continue on and fight to demand ALL of the unemployed are included in this legislation. ALL of the UNEMPLOYED!

  • belindagarza95 12/14/2010 3:16pm

    It’s funny how people who have never been without a job has the right to say something. Passing this bill will mean to me being able to pay my bills. I’m not even thinking about christmas. I am the sole provider for my children and the unemployment benefits have given me hope that I will get a job soon. I would like for those people to step into our shoes and do what we have to do to survive and see if they will still make the same dumb and inconsiderate comments…..

  • Comm_reply
    Mahlalie 12/14/2010 3:32pm

    And I say people should pay taxes if they want a say in tax rates and spending bills.

  • Comm_reply
    Liberal4Change 12/14/2010 5:01pm

    You say a lot of things…that doesn’t make it true. You sound like a spoiled child who wouldn’t know how to survive (or think for that matter) without your daddy.

  • craines 12/14/2010 3:20pm


    Here’s what Donny Shaw had to say:
    “Shaw told 99ers yesterday, “these are your key pressure points right now for changing the bill — the 41 members of the Ways and Means Committee and the 14 members of the Rules Committee.”

    Fax these 41 members NOW about the 99ers.

    Here’s the 14 members -

    Here’s some FREE Fax services

  • Comm_reply
    badams82 12/14/2010 5:25pm

    Found additional info:

    Congressional Black Caucus Telephone: 202-226-9776. Fax: 202-225-9817
    Barbara Lee Phone: (202) 225-2661 FAX: (202) 225-9817
    Donald M. Payne Phone: (202) 225-3436 FAX: (202) 225-4160
    Bobby Scott Phone (202) 225-8351 FAX (202) 225-8354
    All 99ers are encouraged to contact Ms. Jackson and offer our voices to her fight to help the 99ers: On Twitter @JacksonLeeTX18 By phone: 202-225-3816 Fax: 202-225-3317

  • JohnAmerican 12/14/2010 6:52pm

    Donny Shaw needs to educate himself. Whether or not someone is getting UI has nothing to do with how the unemployment rates are calculated. The 99ers absolutely are counted in the official unemployment rates known as U3 (currently 9.8%) and U6 (currently 17%). The only way they are not counted is if they become homeless (or go to prison, or get committed into a mental hospital)…..and yes then they don’t get counted in U3 or U6.

    If a 99er keeps looking for work then he/she is counted in U3.
    If a 99er stops looking for work then he/she is counted in U6.

    YES HOMELESSNESS OF 99ERS IS A BIG PROBLEM. Once they become homeless, they are no longer counted, and it may very well be that the fed govt does not want people to know how many 99ers have become homeless due to the neglect of the fed govt.


  • Comm_reply
    Abaratarrr 12/14/2010 8:49pm

    nope, after 2 year of unemployment people are no longer considered unemployed, .next year the survey question changes and people unemployed up to 5 years will be counted, but for Donny he is absolutely correct.

    please show us you government provided number for how many 99ers exist.

  • JohnAmerican 12/14/2010 6:53pm

    Also, each state’s Labor Dept. absolutely does know how many persons have exhausted their maximum weeks of UI benefits since March. The only reason the fed govt doesn’t know is because it hasn’t asked the states to give it the data. The fed govt doesn’t want to know how many 99ers there are altogether. There are probably 5 million…..and a recent White House report estimated there will be 4 million more in 2011.

  • JohnAmerican 12/14/2010 6:56pm

    9 million persons x $300/wk x 20 weeks = $54B

    That’s how much Tier V would cost.


  • webrown91 12/14/2010 7:11pm

    I’m amazed someone has just figured this out. (jk)
    The fact that people dropped off the unemployment figures when they run out of benefits was noted early on, when they began extending. Remember the discussions about unemployment near 10% but really being closer to 17 or 18%?
    Recent history shows that Congress won’t act on 99ers until well after the problem hits x million – first quarter of 2011?
    I wrote to congressperson asking that they look into providing Social Security benefits to those of us over 50 ‘tweeners’ (between layoff and retirement) – possibly as a ‘loan’ until we can get a job and return to contributing (re-funding) the system. Got form letter reply from staffer…..imagine that.

  • shanewarner 12/15/2010 12:30am

    THIS IS useful information and article
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  • shanewarner 12/15/2010 12:30am

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  • shanewarner 12/15/2010 12:31am
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  • beovision 12/15/2010 3:02am

    stebanow bill was fools gold just a paper tiger to show she is trying to help the 99 ers where is she now …do a press confrence where are all of the co – sponsers of the bill

  • PPearson 12/15/2010 4:17am

    If the government extends benefits to the 99ers, they will have to add them back into the count for the unemployed. Anyone that has expended all their unemployment benefits are no longer counted. They have just dropped off the radar. If the 99ers are added back into the count, the country will be able to see just how bad things are. Now everytime the count goes down, the politicians pat themselves on the back. It doesn’t mean that people are working. It just means that fewer people are receiving unemployment benefits.

  • Checkless 12/15/2010 4:29am

    America! Our sweet old America! The country where there is plenty, the country where we provide aid to others, the country where we work and pay our taxes and the country where we don’t take care of our own. The country where we give tax breaks to the wealthy and let the backbone of the country go homeless. I can’t believe that someone in Washington hasn’t made a sincere effort to get a Tier V passed!

    President Obama, I voted for him. I stood up for him against my good friend of 30 years. I so sad that I owe her an apology. The President could have done more, he could have insisted that additional weeks are added to Tier IV and that there was a Tier V added, but what did he do,ask for 13 weeks of what was already in place. IT IS NOT OUR FAULTS THAT THERE ARE NO JOBS! We are getting blamed for it.

    I think this link sums it up:

  • Checkless 12/15/2010 4:38am

    Please fax this link to all of the news media, the House of Representatives and ask if this is what out country has been reduced to. Please don’t let up because if and when jobs are available, we are going to have to go back to work and pay taxes for them to appropriate as they see fit. WE HAVE A VOICE AND IT SHOULD BE HEARD!!!!!!WE NEED ADDITIONAL WEEKS IN TIER IV AND NEED A TIER V EXTENSION or no tax cuts for the wealthy.

  • Nodlee87 12/15/2010 6:39am

    Unemployed Non-99ers need to WAKE UP:

    The unemployed in this country are being sold a bill of goods by the President, the media, phony pollsters and most members of Congress.

    FACT: The 13 month extension in this compromise does NOT guarantee your benefits continue for the entire 13 months.

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