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Improving Economy may Lead to Unemployment Benefit Cuts


California’s Employment Development Department says that come mid-August, an improving economy is expected to cost thousands of jobless workers the last 10 weeks of their federal unemployment benefits. 

California’s economic rebound means the federal government may soon cut-off assistance to the state’s long-term unemployed.

“We’re now nearing that point where we will no longer qualify for Tier 4 federal extension benefits,” says Loree Levy of the state’s Employment Development Department .

“The federal government requires that a state has to have an unemployment rate of nine percent or higher through a three month average in order to qualify for Tier 4 federal extension benefits,” she says.

California’s unemployment rate in May was 8.6 percent and could drop further when the June jobs numbers come out this Friday. The EDD says more than 100,000 jobless Californians would be affected by the loss of benefits. All federal benefit extensions expire in December unless Congress takes action. 


Max Pringle

State Government Reporter

Max covers the state capital, bringing more than a decade of experience in print and public radio, including reporting for KPFA, KQED and KALW. He traces his news roots to working on his his high school newspaper.   Read Full Bio 

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