Today’s jobs report shows that the labor market recovery remains disappointingly slow, with employment still well below normal levels and long-term unemployment still near historic highs see chart. As a result, policymakers should not let emergency federal unemployment insurance for the long-term unemployed expire at the end of December. That would slow the recovery, even as it causes serious hardship for many workers who are still struggling to find jobs. The temporary federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation EUC program, which President Obama and Congress authorized through the end of the year, provides additional weeks of unemployment insurance UI benefits to workers who exhaust their regular state UI benefits before they can find a job. In most states, that’s after 26 weeks and, as the chart shows, roughly four out of 10 jobless workers have now been out of work and looking for a job for 27 weeks or more. If policymakers do not reauthorize the program, EUC payments will not be available to new claimants and will end abruptly for current recipients after the last full week of December.