Poll: What is your employment story during this "jobless" recovery?

Thinkstock: Unemployment insurance extension approved by Congress.Thinkstock: Unemployment insurance extension approved by Congress.Unemployment benefits will be extended for long-term unemployed Americans after months of Republican opposition, which abated only after Democrats agreed not to include COBRA health insurance extensions in the package.

Welcome news for the millions of long-term unemployed Americans affected, but it's hard to let out a huge sigh of relief in the face of the latest jobs reports, which sadly corroborate that if we are truly in the midst of a recovery, it remains a jobless one. Employers are hesitant to hire, and unemployment stints are dragging on.

The number of unemployed workers, 14.6 million, moved down in June, but weekly reports since then indicate an upward trend in job loss. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke this week predicted that the unemployment rate would gradually decline to somewhere between 9.2 percent and 9.5 percent by the end of 2010, but at a slower rate than the Fed had forecast in the spring.

Basically, the unemployment market is as stuck as the housing market. It's a sluggish summer. All the more reason for the benefits extension, fought because it will add more than $33 billion to our ballooning federal deficit over the next 10 years. About 2.5 million people lost benefits due to the political delay, but will now receive back payments because Congress restored the benefits retroactively through November.

As this excellent Washington Post piece on the myths of unemployment notes, unemployment insurance is providing far more than breathing room for unemployed workers.

"There are now roughly five unemployed workers for every available job. That doesn't mean there are five applicants for every job opening; there may be scores of applications for every posting, as people apply for many jobs. Instead, it means there literally aren't jobs for four out of every five unemployed workers," Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute writes. "This is why nearly half of the unemployed have been out of work for more than six months, the maximum duration of state unemployment benefits."

Know this, too: The unemployment rate may still be under 10 percent, but the rate of workers who are underemployed -- working too few hours or in jobs that don't match their skills -- is 16.5 percent.

So, tell us how you are faring during this sluggish recovery?