Anticipated report could signal end of jobless benefitsby Annie Baxter, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — When Minnesota's jobs report comes out Thursday morning, it could bring good news about the jobless rate but bad news for workers collecting certain extended unemployment benefits.
If the state's average jobless rate over the past three months falls below 6.5 percent, Minnesota residents would no longer be eligible for a program aimed at the long-term unemployed.
The change would affect people collecting extended benefits — those that go beyond 13 weeks of support and are available after someone has exhausted all other options.
The state has drafted letters to the roughly 14,000 workers who are either receiving extended benefits or poised to enter that program to warn them of its potential demise.
State unemployment program officials say Minnesota lawmakers could pass additional unemployment benefits extensions, but the Legislature does not convene until after benefits would be cut off in mid-January.
An additional 9,000 long-term unemployed people who could soon become eligible for extended benefits might be affected as well, said Rick Caliguiri, director of unemployment insurance in Minnesota.