Paul Nawrocki, from Beacon, N.Y., wears a sign as he walks through Times Square seeking employment, New York, Tuesday Nov. 18, 2008. The government says new claims for unemployment benefits jumped last week to a 16-year high, providing more evidence of a rapidly weakening labor market. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Washington (AP) - Congress has passed legislation extending jobless benefits through the December holidays, keeping checks flowing to laid-off workers who would otherwise lose them.
The Senate vote came just hours after the White House said President George W. Bush was concerned about people losing their jobs and urged Congress to move quickly to extend expiring benefits.
The House had passed the legislation that would provide the jobless with up to 13 weeks of extra benefits last October.
The vote came on the same day the Labor Department reported that claims for unemployment benefits hit their highest level since 1992.
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