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ANOTHER Record Number of Unemployment Benefit Recipients

July 23, 2009

Today’s unemployment insurance (UI) benefit claims data from the U.S. Department of Labor reveals yet another record number of Americans collecting unemployment instead of a paycheck.  For the week ending July 4, the most recent for which we have full State and Federal data, nearly 9.2 million laid off workers collected UI benefits.  As the data below shows, the rise in the number of UI recipients has been powered by the continued increase in the number collecting extended Federal unemployment benefits.  These surging numbers of long-term unemployed individuals reveal the continued failure of the Democrats’ so-called stimulus legislation to create jobs.  There are now 1.1 million more long-term unemployed individuals collecting Federal unemployment benefits than there were before President Obama signed Democrats’ stimulus bill on February 17, 2009.   

 Source: U.S. Department of Labor data.  Data is weekly claims, defined as the number of people filing a claim for unemployment benefits of each type in each week.  For prior weekly totals, see