Roughly 37 percent of the nation’s jobless have been out of work for over roughly six months, according to the Labor Department.
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Roughly 1.3 million people lost their extended unemployment benefits on Saturday as Congress allowed the program to expire.
Democrats — angry that an extension wasn’t included in the recently-enacted budget agreement — have vowed to make the benefits the first item on their 2014 agenda.
Republicans contend that lawmakers would better serve their constituents by directing their efforts to other job-boosting areas, especially given that a year-long unemployment extension comes with a $26 billion price tag. They also are waiting on Democrats to put forward a specific plan.