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July 5, 2010; Source: Livingston Daily | As congress failed to act on extending jobless benefits last week, going on a break until July 12, the 400,000 unemployed in Michigan were left to wonder about how far they actually are from the precipice. With the extension, unemployed people would have benefits for 99 weeks—without these benefits they will receive benefits for only 26 weeks. The Michigan jobless rate has stopped rising recently but has not improved and is now at 13.6 percent. The United Way for Southeastern Michigan reports that its 211 line has “blown up” and safety net organizations are poising to try to help if the worst happens.—Ruth McCambridge