Going into the new year, the national unemployment rate stands at 7 percent, according to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics
. That means the figure is the lowest it's been since 2008. But the welcoming of 2014 is hardly good news for one set of workers —
the long-term unemployed
. For the first time since the financial crisis began half a decade ago, Congress has passed on
extending emergency insurance benefits
for those who have been out of work for up to 99 weeks.