The AARP is calling on Congress to lend support to older Americans in any job relief package it passes, including extension of unemployment and health insurance benefits.

COBRA subsidies and unemployment insurance are both scheduled to expire at the end of the month, and AARP says older Americans are especially in need of extensions because they are remaining unemployed for longer spells than other workers. The jobless rate among older workers has actually dropped recently—roughly two million Americans aged 55 and older were unemployed in January, which represents 125,000 fewer than in January 2009. This translates into a decline in the unemployment rate to 6.8% from 7.2%.

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