The Associated Press

Mass., Conn. And R.I. Senators Want More Jobless Help

BOSTON — U.S. senators from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island are among 32 lawmakers who sent a joint letter to Senate leaders, urging Congress to extend benefits for the long-term unemployed before they expire at the end of the year.

About 1.3 million Americans will lose benefits if lawmakers don’t act. Millions more will not secure benefits if they exhaust their initial 26 weeks of unemployment insurance.

The senators say in their letter that unemployment insurance has provided more than $255 billion in direct support to those who lost their jobs since July 2008, at the height of the current economic recession.

The senators say an Economic Policy Institute analysis shows expiration of the joblessness benefit will cost the economy 310 jobs and slow growth by 0.2 over next year.

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