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Unemployed Workers to Get Extended Benefits
Seasonal Rise in State Jobless Rate Triggers Extra Federal Funds


March 08, 2005

Juneau, Alaska - A seasonal rise in Alaska's unemployment rate will trigger up to 13 weeks of extended benefits for unemployed Alaskans starting March 12, Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Greg O'Claray said Monday.

The federally funded state-federal Extended Benefits (EB) program will provide cash benefits to qualified Alaskans who have exhausted their normal unemployment benefits, he said.

"With the seasonal ebb and flow of work in Alaska, it is not unusual to see our unemployment rate rise above 6 percent in winter," O'Claray said. "We're fortunate that we can respond to this year's rise with extended benefits that will help unemployed Alaskans get through the lean winter months until springtime, when job opportunities will expand."

Bill Kramer, chief of the Labor Department's unemployment insurance program, said the state-federal EB program is authorized when Alaska's Insured Unemployment Rate (IUR) rises above 6 percent. That rate is calculated by dividing the number of unemployment claims filed in a 13-week period by the average covered employment for the past four quarters, he said. Under federal law, states must offer the extended benefits for at least 13 weeks after reaching the 6 percent trigger point.

Entitlement for the EB program is based on an individual's eligibility. The department's Employment Security Division, which administers the unemployment insurance program, mailed letters to more than 8,600 potentially eligible Alaskans on March 4 to notify them of the EB program. To apply, potentially eligible workers should contact their nearest Unemployment Insurance Call Center at the following numbers:

* Anchorage - 269-4700
* Fairbanks - 451-2871
* Juneau - 465-5552
* All other areas - 1-888-252-2775


Source of News:

Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development
Web Site



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