Extended Unemployment Benefits Scheduled To End December 28 Bookmark and Share

November 21, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 21, 2013
Contact Information: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Recipients need to plan ahead

AUGUSTA—About 4,000 recipients of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) in Maine will no longer be eligible to receive unemployment benefits after Dec. 28, 2013, if benefits have not been extended by Congressional action. The Maine Department of Labor, which administers the state’s unemployment system, has begun warning beneficiaries of the likely termination of the program.

“People need to make financial plans,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “They might also need to reevaluate their job search strategy or change their career entirely by enrolling in a training program. No one should feel like they do not have any resources; the Department of Labor has resources to help people find a good job.”

“The Maine Job Bank hit a record high of more than 8,100 open jobs on Nov. 14, so there are jobs out there. We have also been offering Job Fairs all fall and will continue to work hard to connect people with good jobs,” stated Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette.

The Department of Labor oversees the workforce development system that assists people who are unemployed in finding work. This system includes the CareerCenters, the Maine Job Bank online job board and a variety of training programs. This system and its career counselors have been preparing for the expected increase in job seekers as a result of the ending of EUC payments.

Maine’s improving economy and the need to meet the savings targets of sequestration have combined to reduce the number of weeks people can collect EUC benefits. Therefore, the number of people affected by the potential termination of this program is about half this year than at this same time last year. In 2012, the department warned beneficiaries of the program’s end but the program was continued as part of the last-minute Congressional budget deal as the clocked ticked down into 2013.

Maine’s statewide network of CareerCenters provide employment resources for job seekers and employers. Services for job seekers include job referrals, career counseling, job hunting workshops, labor market information, skills assessment and training resources. The public can use the CareerCenter to access the Internet for employment-related purposes and computers are available for resume development. CareerCenters also offer specialized employment services for people with disabilities and veterans.

For more information, visit your local CareerCenter or call 1-888-457-888 (TTY users dial Maine Relay 711) or visit http://www.mainecareercenter.com.

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Correction: EUC is Emergency Unemployment Compensation, not Extended Unemployment Compensation as originally written in the first sentence.