KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — Last month, hundreds of thousands of Americans lost long-term unemployment benefits. Because these people are no longer making weekly claims, they become invisible as it relates to statistics.
Marla Love who has been unemployed for over two years, has lost her home, filed bankruptcy, and last month, lost her unemployment benefits.
“I was very surprised, I knew we were going to have to cut back on things — even move in with our families,” said Love.
Love says she applies for at least three jobs a day, but she is only one of many administrative assistants that have been out of work.
Love doesn’t understand the reason behind, recent cuts that were made as part of Congress’s payroll tax deal.
“I would ask them what parallel universe are you leaving in, said Love, “there are real people they’re not numbers, they’re your neighbors, your friends – -if you take that unemployment what little it is — it really hurts.”
Currently, jobless workers only qualify for extended benefits if their states unemployment rate exceeds a historical rate.
Damien Birkel, who works with the unemployed, says the benefit slash renders the latest lower unemployment numbers meaningless.
“What happened is you may have less people filing,” said Birkel, “three hundred thousand lost benefits and as a result, they’re out of the system, they’re not counted.”