The likelihood of federal benefits ending is not sitting well with many New Jerseyans who have been struggling to find work.
The trimming began Saturday with an estimated 26,000 unemployed N.J. residents expected to lose their unemployment benefits, starting with those who have been searching for a job the longest.
New Jersey is ranked as a high unemployment state, thus the jobless here have been able to collect from four levels of emergency compensation which covers up to the 78th week someone’s been out of work, plus a round of extended benefits that covers up to the 99th week of joblessness, according to The Star-Ledger.
Because of the states slow improving progress, extended benefits for people who have been out of work and collecting unemployment between 79 and 99 weeks are expected to end.
A federal law passed in late February, known as the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, introduced a new eligibility formula that included cutting off federal benefits to the unemployed if the states employment improved.
In mid-June, Gov. Chris Christie announced that New Jersey added 17,600 jobs in May, triggering the U.S. Department of Labor to notify that the state of New Jersey that is no longer qualified to receive extended benefits.
The selection criterion also has many worried about finding a job in the current economy.
"The longer someone’s unemployed, the harder it is for them to get back into the labor market," said Carl Van Horn, director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, to the Star Ledger.
Van Horn explained that not only do those people have outdated skills or experience, but they may also be from industries that are struggling such as construction or manufacturing.