Business, Economics and Jobs

Unemployment benefits end for 200,000 Americans


Stephen Greene works a street corner hoping to land a job as a laborer or carpenter on June 3, 2011 in Pompano Beach, Florida.


Joe Raedle

Unemployment benefits will be cut for nearly 200,000 people in the US this week, half of which will come from California workers.

According to CBS, the benefits will be cut due to terms of a benefit extension agreement in Congress. It stated benefits would be cut off if unemployment rates fell below certain thresholds. 

Loree Levy of the California Employment Development Department, told NBC she is actually pleased with the cutoff because it means the California economy is improving. "In order for the state to qualify for the program you have to have a high unemployment rate," Levy said. "Certainly California does have a high rate, but it's not 10 percent higher than what it's been over the last three years, and that is a requirement of the program."

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CNN Money reported, "The federal extended benefits program has provided the jobless with up to 20 weeks of unemployment checks after they've run through their state and their federal emergency benefits, which together last up to 79 weeks."

In order for a state to be eligible for the extended benefits it must prove its unemployment rate is at least 10 percent higher than it was in at least one of the past three years.

SFGate noted a report from the National Employment Law Project which said, "Other states losing benefits this week are North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Colorado, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Texas. Nineteen other states lost eligibility earlier this year. By the end of September, another seven states will drop off, which will eventually bring the total to 34 states facing reduced federal assistance to the long-term unemployed."

According to CNN Money, starting later this year the maximum number of weeks the jobless can collect unemployment benefits will be reduced to as little as 40 weeks in states with jobless rates below 6 percent and to as many as 73 weeks where unemployment tops 9 percent.

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