Lower unemployment means no more extended benefits

Associated Press
March 13, 2012
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A lower unemployment rate in Indiana turns out to be bad news for some long-term jobless in the state who will see their unemployment benefits come to end next month.

About 10,000 Indiana residents who have been unemployed for more than 79 weeks will no longer be eligible to receive 20 more weeks of extended federal benefits after April 15 because the state's three-month average unemployment rate is no longer 110 percent higher than it was three years ago.

That has some who work with the unemployed worried.

"When you talk about unemployment still being high and benefits being taken away, that's a volatile cocktail," said Rod Roberson, executive director of Church Community Services in Elkhart, which provides a food pantry and other social services to those in need.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development announced Tuesday that Indiana's unemployment rate dipped to 8.7 percent in January, down from a revised December rate of 8.9 percent. In Elkhart County, where the unemployment rate spiked to 18.9 percent in March 2009, it was down to 11.2 percent in January. But Roberson said many people still need help and Indiana isn't ready for the loss of benefits.

"I know a lot of people think unemployment is an entitlement, but it's not. It's just that, unemployment, and we would like to see it stay in place until we can get more people back at a gainful wage," he said.

Other counties had higher unemployment rates, including Fayette County in eastern Indiana at 12.7 and Clay County at 12.5 percent and Putnam County at 12.1 percent on the western side of the state.

Indiana residents first became eligible for the extended benefits in March 2009, remained eligible until December of the year and became eligible again a month later when federal and state lawmakers made changes in the law, Workforce Development spokeswoman Valerie Kroeger said.

The department attributed the lower unemployment rate for January to the state adding 13,000 private sector jobs in January, the largest monthly increase in more than a year.

As Gov. Mitch Daniels predicted a day earlier, the department also announced that Bureau of Labor Statistics data show 43,000 jobs were added in the private sector in Indiana in 2011. The bureau originally stated Indiana added 27,000 jobs.

"It turns out private employment in Indiana has grown by 4.9 percent since the bottom in 2009, well above national growth of 3.2 percent," said Mark W. Everson, Workforce Development commissioner.


    Unemployment ran out last month for me and many otheres. There still are no jobs that will pay my rent or put gas in my car , or food on my table. Not to mention child support. Indiana is a inbreed backwoods state, full of corrupted banks and business. They hire mexicans at 5 dollars a hour less and lay you off. its happening all over the state and im sure other states. there are no more good jobs,its all gone to mexican low balling americans out of there homes and life. we need to deport all mexicans back to mexico and let there country take care of them like they should have. if they cant then to bad ,they can fight there government like we have to.
  • Facts, please
    Obviously, some of you don't have any idea of all the facts of unemployment: who is receiving benefits and for what reasons. Not everyone receiving benefits is an 'uneducated leech on society'. Why would someone who has a college degree, in addition to other certifications or degrees, including an MBA, spend the 99 weeks working on an associates degree? That's laughable. Also, do you know that someone unemployed or a single mother working on an associates degree will get federal aid...yep, more of your tax dollars handed out. Look at the job ads...you might be surprised what the majority are for and how much (little) income is offered. Get ready for another swarm of college and high school graduates on the job market in another two months or less, and just hope you don't unexpectedly lose your job like so many others have.
  • Jobs Growth
    Private Employment in Indiana has grown by 4.9% since 2009, which is 1.7% higher than the national average over the same period. I find this fact to be encouraging. As for those who receive unemployment compensation, I continue to believe that more jobs would be created if the funds were paid into a fund that supported small businesses who hired the unemployed. The best way to get people back to work is to pay them to work, not pay them to stand in a line at the unemployment office. Waiting in an unemployment line for work will not create jobs, only businesses can create jobs for those unemployed. We need to spend our tax dollars more wisely.
  • AFT
    Nice. I haven't received one thank you from anyone on un-employment. My un-employment tax is higher than my mortgage. I work really hard to earn the money that that organized crime office takes from me.
  • Grammar?

    Perhaps if you worked on your grammar and spelling, you would not be so worked up over how hard it is to contact the unemployment office.
  • Education
    Funny, 99 weeks of unemployment is almost exactly the two years it takes to get an Associates Degree.
  • work?
    are you people nuts? call the unemployment line and try to get a person on the phone! they have gone out of their way to make it difficult for anyone to get help. you recive better phone service calling best buy. there are so many people who have just given up hope of finding a job. and the problem is only getting worst nomatter what some poll tell you. 30k people just up and give up looking for work or even a better job, but i guess they only want you to hear about the 3,200 that have been put back to work in 2012!

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