Although there's lots of happy talk about the economy turning around, and the big banks are apparently minting money, the situation for ordinary workers is still perilous. The long-term unemployment rate — the proportion of the labor force that has been out of work for at least 15 weeks — is at the highest level since the depression. And the broad measure of unemployment plus under-employment is over 20% in some states, and is at 17% in North Carolina. So extended unemployment benefits are more important than ever. See here for for more info on how to apply.