Employment Screening

Unemployment Extension Up in the Air for Over 200,000 Jobless Americans


The Senate will make a decision hopefully this week as to whether or not nearly a quarter of a million unemployed will be granted extension benefits on their unemployment insurance. Last week, the decision was supposed to be made, but lawmakers failed to extend the deadline to file before taking their two-week recess.

On Monday, April 12th, senators are expected to start the voting process to extend the deadline to the beginning of May. Their final vote is expected by the end of this week. The major hurdle at this point seems to be getting just one Republican on board for the vote, which has not been easy. In late March, Republicans blocked the extension because they argued that the billion bill should instead be paid for.


CNN reported today that consumer advocates are helping to enforce the rights of the unemployed by putting pressure on lawmakers to approve the extension of the deadline for the more than 6 million people who are affected. These unemployed are depending upon the vote for extension benefits because they have exhausted their primary unemployment insurance awards and have not yet found work. Many are hanging on the hope that they can just get to the interview and employment screening phase of the hiring process. However, many have not been able to advance thus far.


Though the unemployment rate is steady at about 9.7%, statistics are showing that the average time it takes for someone to find new work is 31.2 weeks (, April 12). The most frightening of these statistics is that 33 states are currently out of funds to support their unemployed. This crisis has caused fear and anger in many citizens due to Congress delaying the extension vote by two weeks, though they know the dire situation that millions are facing. Criminal background searches and employment screening are walks in the park when compared to the fact that Congress has held up some Americans’ ability to just pay their bills.


Current federal unemployment benefits last for up to 73 weeks and are only effective after someone has exhausted their first 26 weeks of state benefits. The extensions are divided up into several tiers, each for a certain span of time. Unemployed recipients must re-apply each time they need to move into the next tier of extended benefits. Since Congress has already passed two prior extensions for the jobless, many Americans are hoping that they will follow in the same pattern of helping to ease their financial burden of being unemployed.


If your company is still in a hiring freeze or has a shortage of employees due to the poor economy, we’d love to hear from you. When was the last time your company hired? How many employees have you lost due to the economy? Weigh in and tell us what your experience has been since the slowdown.


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