WILKES-BARRE — It’s the beginning of the month and for many of us, the bills are due. But a large number of people say they don’t have the money to pay them, not after extended unemployment benefits ran out over the weekend, including for tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians.
Luzerne County was one of the hardest hit areas in Pennsylvania. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, more than 1000 people living in Luzerne County relied on these extended unemployment benefits, which have now been cut.
The search is on, the job search that is. Thousands of people are now desperately looking for work after extended unemployment benefits ran out.
Some of them came to this CareerLink on East Union Street in Wilkes-Barre.
“It’s the first of the month. Bills need to paid, and I don’t have the money. I really don’t know what to do,” said Shannon Johnson, of Wilkes-Barre.
Johnson has been out of work since July. In that time, he’s come to CareerLink and gotten his GED. He says he doesn’t want a job. He wants a career to help support his family.
But he hasn’t found anything yet, and without his benefits, things are tight.
“It’s just mind-boggling to me of the way that the government is handling my situation,” said Johnson.
Even though people are filling the seats, looking for work now, people who work at this CareerLink say it was even busier on Monday, where about 100 people came in after those unemployment benefits ran out.
“I think people, you know, they’re concerned. They’re not quite sure what’s going on because of course, these have expired before and then been extended so they have questions about it,” said CareerLink administrator Christine Jensen.
CareerLink offers help with the job search, interview process, and even offers job training. But even with all of that, Shannon Johnson is still struggling.
“What do I do? To be a good man in America is so hard”
According to the state, people can continue to file biweekly claims in the event that the unemployment benefits program is extended by Congress, but there’s but no word if that will happen.