Labor group launches website to showcase unemployed

The AFL-CIO launched a website Tuesday to showcase stories of those affected by unemployment.

The nation's largest labor federation launched the website to bring attention to the fact that unemployment benefits will expire by the end of this year unless Congress acts to renew the benefits.

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"Time's running out for America's long-term job hunters. If Congress fails to act by Dec. 31, nearly 2 million will be cut off in January alone. And without action in 2012, that number will rise to at least 6 million," the website says.

Users of the website can search for stories by state as well as by how unemployment has affected the writer — whether it has affected him or her personally, his or her family or friends, community or the United States as a whole.

The website blames House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) for Capitol Hill's inaction on extending the benefits, saying he "continues to block a clean and immediate extension of emergency unemployment benefits."

Users are then encouraged to sign an emergency petition to Congress calling for an extension of unemployment benefits. More than 35,000 signatures had been gathered by Monday night.

The website launch coincides with a week of events by the AFL-CIO to bring attention to the expiring unemployment benefits.

The week of action finishes Thursday with a prayer vigil at Upper Senate Park, where unemployed workers are expected to be in attendance. Workers are also expected to hold events at lawmakers' district offices across the country.