The Congressional Budget Office says extending the current level of long-term unemployment benefits for another year would add 300,000 jobs to the economy.

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

A report from the nonpartisan office estimates that preserving jobless benefits would cost the government $30 billion. But it would also lead to more spending by the unemployed, boosting demand for goods and services and creating new jobs.

Federal long-term unemployment benefits are set to expire on Dec. 29 unless Congress approves an extension. Democrats have called for reauthorization of extended benefits, but Republicans are generally opposed.

Regular jobless benefits generally last up to 26 weeks for eligible workers who lose their job and are seeking employment. Since 2008, the federal government has offered up to 47 weeks of additional benefits.


(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)