UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE EXTENSIONS. An important part of the $856 billion tax cut compromise that President Obama negotiated with Republican lawmakers is the 13-month extension of unemployment benefits. The deal does not help the so-called “99ers,” those long-term unemployed who have been out of work more than 99 weeks and whose benefits have been exhausted. This extension is good news for African-Americans, who are typically unemployed at a rate twice that of the general population. In November, the black jobless rate was 16.1 percent— not including the underemployed and those who have given up looking— while the national rate was 9.8 percent. In New York City, only one in every four young black men has a job.