Fiscal cliff deal extends jobless benefitsby Annie Baxter, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Jobless Minnesotans are getting a mixed bag of employment-related news this week.
The tax deal reached by lawmakers in Washington this week includes help for unemployed workers. Extended unemployment benefits set to expire at the end of 2012 will now continue through the end of this year.
Susan Angell of Shakopee had been feeling despair about what the end of her benefits would mean for her family, which includes three small children.
"I was just sick about it. You just get so worried that you just can't think about anything else, and it just makes you physically sick. And I just feel so good today," Angell said.
Angell lost her job as an optical lab technician in May and is now pursuing a certification in Information Technology.
Under current law, Minnesotans can draw up to 14 weeks of extended benefits. That's on top of a base package of 26 weeks of unemployment.
On the whole, labor demand in Minnesota has been in a holding pattern recently, according to the Conference Board. The research group says job openings posted online in Minnesota dropped off slightly in December by about 1,100 and have been mostly flat since June.
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