Armed with federal funds, governors have announced new programs ranging from gas vouchers to job training.
Some 4.4 million jobs have disappeared since the recession began in 2007.
Some stimulus dollars are already circulating but may not provide enough help for the jobless.
The practice is spreading as the US unemployment rate hits 7.6 percent.
January's loss of 598,000 jobs hit factory workers and professional and business-services employees hardest.
The unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent in December.
The rise in December's unemployment rate to 7.2 percent shows the economy is ‘cratering.’
Jobless benefits will get paid, but states' budget shortfalls will force bigger debts, higher taxes, or cuts elsewhere.
Obama vows action as jobless rate jumps to 6.5 percent.
Citing dreary job numbers, some economists see the first 'recession election' since 1980.