100,000 people to lose jobless benefits six weeks sooner - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

100,000 people to lose jobless benefits six weeks sooner

100,000 people to lose jobless benefits six weeks sooner

MADISON (WKOW) -- 100,000 people in Wisconsin are set to lose their unemployment benefits by spring.

The Department of Workforce Development says those people will probably lose their benefits six weeks sooner than expected.

That's because Wisconsin's unemployment rate dipped below 8.5 percent for its three-month average in January to 8.3 percent.  Congress set the "magic number" at 8.5 to receive those extra six weeks of checks.

"Do we want to see unemployment high in our state?  No, we want to see it going down," said Sec. of Workforce Development Roberta Gassman.  "Unfortunately, some of our citizens will not be eligible for that unemployment insurance benefit."

Congress is considering passing legislation to extend the benefits.

But those 100,000 people would not be eligible to apply because Wisconsin's unemployment rate has dipped below the 8.5 percent threshold.

In other words, in order for the 100,000 Wisconsin citizens to see those extra six weeks of checks, Congress would need to act separately to modify its 8.5 cut-off rate, or Wisconsin's rate would need to climb above 8.5 percent.

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Online reporting by Dan Cassuto

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