Your Connection To Jazz, Blues and NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Extended Unemployment Benefits Ending In Wash. & Oregon

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Thousands of long-term unemployed workers in Washington and Oregon will soon no longer receive unemployment checks. The federal government won't pay for extended benefits anymore because the jobless rates have improved in both states.

Washington and Oregon's employment departments announced that one emergency unemployment program is being curtailed and another is being shut down completely this month. That shortens the maximum time a worker can collect unemployment from nearly two years down to about a year and five months.

A union group posted this testimonial on YouTube from laborer Wade Jackson of Seattle.

"I've been out of work for almost two years," Jackson says in the video. "Bills are hard to pay. My unemployment is about to run out. There are no jobs out there for us. So I don't know what I'm going to do actually to keep the roof over my head."

Washington's unemployment rate dropped to 8.2 percent in February. It was 8.8 in Oregon and 8.0 percent in Idaho.

Idaho's Department of Labor anticipates its extended benefits will phase out in September.

On the Web:

Washington Employment Security Department fact sheet:

http://www.esd.wa.gov/newsandinformation/factsheets/FS-0001.pdf#zoom=100

Oregon Employment Department:

http://www.oregon.gov/EMPLOY/

/
/

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

Tom Banse covers national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding. Tom's stories can be found online and heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.