“The economy is improving” and “we’ve had a lot of momentum,” Sperling said on NBC’s Meet the Press, but there are still “people who are desperately looking for work.” He said, “We have to admit – and we do admit -- that the worst legacy of this great recession is the crisis of long-term unemployment.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of long-term unemployed, those who are jobless for 27 weeks or more, stood at 4.1 million in November. They accounted for nearly 40 percent of all the unemployed.
Sperling argued that there’s still a need for the emergency unemployment benefits program which President George W. Bush signed into law in the summer of 2008.
The Senate is scheduled to vote Monday on a proposed three-month extension of the Bush Era emergency unemployment benefits program. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation program covers jobless people who have exhausted their benefits under their state’s regular unemployment benefits program.