NEW BRUNSWICK - Congress has left for its holiday break without extending unemployment benefits for nearly 1.3 million Americans.
An estimated 79,000 New Jersey residents will be losing their long-term unemployment benefits, which is an average cash influx of $300 per week.
Reports say that another 89,000 New Jersey residents will lose their benefits in the first six months of 2014 because the number of weeks people are eligible for unemployment will change dramatically from 63 weeks to 26 weeks.
President Barack Obama has been calling members of Congress to make sure they vote for an extension as soon as they get back to work.
Senate Democrats say that they will vote for the benefits on Jan. 6. Republicans have been quick to say they won't be voting for it unless they see some corresponding spending cuts.
New Jersey’s current unemployment rate is 7.8 percent, which is higher than the national average.