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Illinois to end long-term jobless benefits

Updated: June 4, 2012 11:50AM

Illinois’ dropping unemployment rate will trigger the end of a federal program for the long-term jobless in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Wednesday that the Extended Benefit program ends May 12. The program pays 20 weeks of benefits to anyone unemployed beyond 79 weeks.

Department spokesman Greg Rivara says the program started paying benefits in Illinois in 2009 because of high unemployment. Recent decreases that have seen unemployment fall below 9 percent triggered its end.

Rivara says Illinois is one of several states where the program will soon stop paying.

Department Director Jay Rowell encourages anyone without a job to visit the Illinois JobLink website. It has postings for more than 90,000 job openings.

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