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Extension of Unemployment will Benefit 30,000 Kentuckians


Yarmuth lauds enactment of crucial economic provision

(Washington, DC) Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) praised the enactment of an extension of unemployment for three million Americans who have last their jobs and exhausted regular unemployment benefits, which typically last 26 weeks.

“This provides badly needed relief for more than 30,000 Kentuckians who have lost or are in jeopardy of losing their benefits,” Congressman Yarmuth said.  “With the economy struggling, many people just need a little extra time in their job searches, and this will prevent them from having to give up a car or home, skip meals, or delay healthcare.  The extension will also provide a necessary boost for our entire economy as each dollar invested in unemployment benefits yields $1.64 for the economy.”

Unemployment in Kentucky has increased by 11 percent in the last year, from 113,600 in May 2007 to 127,300 in May 2008.  This extension will benefit the twenty percent of unemployed individuals who struggle with joblessness for more than 26 weeks.

Relief will be provided to those who exhausted regular benefits within the last 20 months and are still looking for a job.  The benefits will be funded by federal unemployment trust funds.

The provision will aid the more than 900,000 still unemployed Americans, including 8,301 Kentuckians, who have exhausted their unemployment benefits since November 2006 as well as those whose benefits will run out before March of 2009; 2.7 million Americans, 22,000 of whom live in Kentucky.

The unemployment rate surged to 5.5 percent from 5.0 percent in May -- the biggest one-month jump in more than two decades and climbing to the highest level in nearly four years. The unemployment rate is now a full percentage point higher than a year ago, and the U.S. economy has lost jobs for five consecutive months, totaling 324,000 --with the number of people looking for work climbing 861,000 to 8.5 million in May.

Louisville residents requiring assistance with unemployment benefits can contact Yarmuth’s downtown office at 582-5129 or call the Kentucky Unemployment Office  directly at 502-564-4761.