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Unemployment Benefits Expire For Thousands

Unemployment Benefits Expire For Thousands - Idaho's unemployment rate took a relatively large jump, rising three-tenths of a percentage point in November.

The unemployment rate is now 9.4 percent. It's just a tenth below the recession high of 9.5 percent in February. Nationally, unemployment rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 9.8 percent, the highest rate since the year began.

The increase in Idaho's jobless rate comes just as many unemployed workers are seeing their benefits expire.

On Sunday, extended unemployment benefits will end for 1,200 jobless Idahoans, and 14,000 more will see their benefits end in the next few weeks. It's all because of the expiration of federal laws financing the extended benefit program. People who have been relying on that money, will have to find another way to get by.

The Extended Benefit Program began in spring of 2008, providing as many as 73 additional weeks of benefits on top of the 10 to 26 weeks of regular state unemployment benefits.

But all that is ending this week. Ending for families like Cris Odom's.

"It's a joyful time, and how can you be joyful when you know that there's no income," said Odom, whose husband is unemployed. "We're going to have to readjust, sit down and reevaluate what our priorities are."

Her husband used to be a construction worker, but has been unemployed and looking for a new job for 99 weeks.

"Ninety-nine weeks... it sounds like it's an eternity," said Odom. "But you cut back on small things. You don't get to run to the store when you run out of something, you have to make due without."

Unemployment Benefits Expire For Thousands


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