The share of jobless Americans receiving unemployment insurance is declining as Congress winds down long-term benefits.
While the unemployed population has fallen by less than 10 percent in the past year, the insurance rolls are down by nearly 25 percent. The latest numbers show 12.7 million unemployed and 5.6 million getting benefits, compared with 13.9 million jobless and 7.3 million receiving aid at the same time last year.
Lauren Heslin of Marietta, Ga., said she received her final check of unemployment insurance last week. She lost her job as a financial analyst in November 2010, and she said the $277 she received each week in benefits amounted to less than a quarter of her former income.
"It barely even put food on the table," she said.