Washington, Feb 26: According to the data released by the United States Labour Department the number of Americans living on unemployment benefits has increased to 5 million for the first time with as many as 667,000 filing initial jobless claims last week. This is the highest number since Oct 1982.
Experts predicts that the initial claims will increase upto 750,000 per week in the coming months. The insured unemployment rate is 3.8 percent, nearly double the 2.1 percent rate from a year ago.
Under the $787 billion economic rescue package proposed by President Barack Obama, the weekly unemployment benefit will see an increase by $25 on top of the roughly $300, jobless workers currently receive. Otherthan this the first $2,400 of benefits in 2009 would be exempt federal income taxes. The stimulus package will also provide the jobless people with an additional 20 weeks of benefits and another 13 weeks if they are living under an even higher unemployment state.