4.4 Million Unemployed Americans

The job market is not getting any easier out there. As reported by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), joblessness at the end of February 2009 increased by 651,000. The national unemployment rate of 8.1 percent is the highest in over 25 years, totaling 4.4 million unemployed Americans.

If you are one of many people who have become unemployed, it is important to contact your state’s unemployment insurance agency. You may use the U.S. Department of Labor website to determine if you are eligible for benefits.

If you are eligible for unemployment benefits be certain you understand:

  • What is expected of you while receiving benefits.
  • What additional resources may be available to you – these may be things like assistance building a resume, finding employment, or additional financial help.
  • How and when to file your claim.
  • How and when you receive benefit payments.
  • How to manage the income tax you may owe on the benefits you receive.

Many states are taking advantage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that will allow emergency extension of benefit payments. Check your state’s unemployment insurance site for updated news.

If you are a job seeker, check out CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop is a U.S. Department of Labor-sponsored Web site that offers career resources and workforce information to job seekers, students, businesses, and workforce professionals.