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Unemployment insurance is set to expire for more than a million out-of-work people across the country, including 215,000 in California. Here, job seekers line up for a career fair in L.A.
California's unemployment numbers are still higher than the nationwide figure. On Monday, nearly two dozen of the state's Democratic members of Congress called on GOP leaders to extend unemployment benefits.
The letter from Lakewood Congresswoman Linda Sanchez and 22 fellow California Democrats asks House Speaker John Boehner to schedule a vote on a bill that would continue unemployment benefits for another year for more than 1.3 million Americans — including 215,000 Californians. Those benefits are set to expire after Christmas.
California's unemployment rate is 8.9%. That's much lower than the recession peak of 12.4%. But it's nearly two points higher than the current national average of 7.3%.
There isn't much time to act. Congress has just nine legislative working days left on the calendar for this year.
In the letter, Sanchez says Californians are not seeking a handout: "These are our friends and neighbors who want to work, pay taxes, and contribute to their community."
There is some good news for the Golden State. Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that California had the second-highest jump in the number of people who've found new jobs: 39,800.
There was no comment from the Speakers' office.