Unemployment comes from unemployment insurance. I always thought that the company paid 100% of this insurance.
This is the reason that Northwest fought so hard (and successfully) to prevent the striking mechanics from collecting unemployment. I was told at a meeting that it would have cost Northwest a lot of money if the judge allowed the mechanics to claim unemployment (via insurance payments I guess).
If furloughed in Sept 08, unemployment benefits are based of a snapshot of a year period. It would be March 1 07 - April 1 08. Take the average income over that period and devide by 56. Take 60% of that number and that is what you qualify for. (max $560/wk) Considering most CAL newhires came from higher paying jobs, you are likely to hit that max. I will.
Take this money and 6 months of travel benifits and have some fun. Or spend it on beer. Your call.