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Thousands in Michigan lose extended unemployment insurance payments


WASHINGTON D.C.  (WKZO) -- Extended unemployment insurance benefits have run out for thousands in West Michigan because Congress didn’t include an extension in the latest budget deal.

It will affect hundreds of people in most South West Michigan Counties: Allegan [368], Barry [203], Berrien [614], Branch [160], Calhoun [578], Kalamazoo [908], Ottawa [706], St. Joseph [103] and Van Buren [327].

Statewide the total is 43,311. That’s just in the first week. More will be added each additional week as they reach the end of their benefits.

Senator Debbie Stabenow says the White House Council of Economic Advisors estimates it will result in the reduction of over 8,450 spinoff jobs in the state.

Republicans say it’s too expensive, and makes people too dependent and they don’t try hard enough to find work. They say the economy has recovered enough that they should be able to find work if they try.

Democrats say the recovery hasn’t created enough jobs to even handle new workers entering the labor force, let alone all those who were laid off during the great recession, especially in states like Michigan.

Senate Democrats are expected to propose a temporary measure to extend unemployment when they get back to Washington in January.