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Extended Unemployment Benefits to Expire

SCRANTON — On Saturday, extended unemployment benefits will run out for 1. 3 million Americans, including nearly 10,000 people in northeastern and central Pennsylvania.

The change will impact people who have exhausted their initial 26 weeks of benefits, which are funded by the state, and who were collecting long-term benefits that were paid for by the federal government.

According to the Pennsylvania officials, approximately 80,000 Pennsylvanians will lose the extended benefits.

According to the Department of Labor, at the end of November, 2,508 people in Luzerne County were collecting extended benefits. 1,503 people in Lackawanna County received them.

President Obama is calling on Congress to pass a bill restoring benefits when it returns to Washington next month.

At the Career Link facility in Scranton, staff members say they expect to get calls and questions from clients next week when people do not receive the money they were expecting.

“Unfortunately they panic, that they are looking for a job at the last minute, they are trying to find something,” says site administrator Cathy Gerrard.

Gerrard says her facility offers programs to help people who have seen their benefits expire.

“Our job developer can work with them, one-on-one, to match them to employers, and we can offer the employer an on the job training contract where we will pay half their wages,” she adds.

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