The number of Americans receiving unemployment has jumped to 667,000 for the week ended February 21, 2009. The number of Americans on continuing unemployment benefits topped 5 million for the first time.
Economists expected a drop for this week, but a sharp spike is what they got instead. And first time claims are expected to rise to 750,000 for the coming weeks.
President Obama's stimulus plan includes some relief for displaced workers. There will be a weekly increase in the benefits of $25.
Also, the first $2,400 received in 2009 are tax free. And when your benefits run out, you'll get an additional 20 weeks. If you live in a high unemployment state you could get another 13 weeks on top of that.