States About To Lose The Most Unemployment Insurance

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5. Georgia
> Number to lose benefits: 114,800
> Population: 9,815,210 (9th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 8.7% (10th highest)

Due to federal changes to unemployment insurance, Georgians were only eligible for about 54 weeks of unemployment insurance in October 2012, just over half of the 99 weeks available in the same month last year. Since the unemployment rate fell below 9% in April and May, some unemployed Georgians had their benefits cut at the time. However, last month the state’s Department of Labor notified approximately 13,000 unemployed Georgians that up to 10 weeks of unemployment benefits would be newly available since the unemployment rate for each of the summer months was at least 9%.

4. Pennsylvania
> Number to lose benefits: 115,300
> Population: 12,742,886 (6th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 8.1% (20th highest)

Relative to its population, Pennsylvania will be hit especially hard by the end of federal  unemployment benefits. Pennsylvania had an unemployment rate below the national rate throughout most of the economic downturn. However, its unemployment rate grew every month from May to September, even as the national rate fell during that time. While total employment grew 0.8% between October 2011 and October 2012, it fell in sectors such as construction and government, the second-largest sector in Pennsylvania according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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3. New Jersey
> Number to lose benefits: 119,600
> Population: 8,821,155 (11th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 9.7% (4th highest)

The nearly 120,000 New Jerseyans who will be cut off from unemployment insurance is particularly high given that the state’s population isn’t even among the country’s top ten. But the state’s unemployment rate of 9.7% in October 2012, is up from 9.3% at the same time last year. The administration of Gov. Chris Christie has questioned the validity of the unemployment figures, especially when the number of jobs has increased by 50,000 in the last year. While the unemployed continue to face hardship, New Jersey is trying to help. It was the first state enact a law that banned job advertisements discriminating against the unemployed.

2. New York
> Number to lose benefits: 204,100
> Population: 19,465,197 (3rd highest)
> Oct. 2012 unemployment rate: 8.7% (11th highest)

New York’s unemployment rate from October 2011, to the following year grew a national-high of half a percentage point, despite falling in most states. Because unemployment has been rising in the state, out-of-work New Yorkers are entitled to an additional 20 weeks of extended benefits along with the traditional emergency unemployment compensation, the only state to offer that extra time. But those benefits will lapse along with the traditional benefits if Congress doesn’t extend unemployment insurance.

1. California
> Number to lose benefits: 362,800
> Population: 37,691,912 (the highest)
> Unemployment rate: 10.1% (3rd highest)

California, like other Western states such as Nevada and Arizona, was hit especially hard by the housing downturn, which contributed to higher unemployment. California is also one of just three states with unemployment above 10% — more than three years after the official end of the recession. A study published in early 2012 by economists at University of California –Los Angeles, noted that California’s unemployment rate is expected to remain above pre-recession levels until 2016, according to the Los Angeles Times. But the good news for California residents is that jobs will come back to the state at a faster rate than the country as a whole, led by a strong technology sector in Silicon Valley.

-Samuel Weigley

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