South Jersey's jobless stare down unemployment funding expiratio - NBC40.net

South Jersey's jobless stare down unemployment funding expiration

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Just hours before federal unemployment funding will be cut off, it was a hectic Friday at the One Stop Career Center.

The doors were opening and closing all day as South Jersey residents looked to secure unemployment benefits before emergency funding expires.

"You see growth taking place, but it's not fast enough in terms of the job creation that supports that type of growth," said New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez Friday.

Senator Menendez says the Senate will vote on an extension of unemployment benefits January 6th, but for jobless veteran Alberto Osoria, that vote can't come fast enough.

"I have to hurry up and find a job, I mean, I can't live. Just that is tough enough. Imagine without it. Can't pay my rent, buy food and stuff," said Osoria.

As he waited for his number to be called, Osoria questioned the government's priorities, and he wasn't the only one.

"They need to get off their high horse for a second and come down to reality, and how about they live our lives for a change, you know, and see what we're dealing with and then maybe it'll help them make better choices with our money," said Joe Rodriguez, employed as a truck driver until recently, when he was laid off due to two postal distribution centers merging.

"The government's basically like the Tin Man - Doesn't have a heart," said Judi Alvarez, who worked at the West Cape May 7-11 until she was informed the store would be closing.

While many look towards the expiration of the funding as a distant possibility, Tyreek Byers is staring down an immediate future with no income.

However, like many, he remains optimistic.

"As long as I still got breath in my body I can make it," said Byers.

For now he waits to see whether Congress will give him some breathing room.

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