BROOKLYN - The fate of those unemployed hangs in the balance as Congress decides whether to renew the federal unemployment program.

Unemployment rates are at 8.3 percent in New York with the borough being one of the hardest hit. More than 200,000 New Yorkers are awaiting the decision.

Congress has until midnight to make a decision. It first extended unemployment compensation in July 2008 and has since paid $9 billion to help bolster the state economy.