JAMESTOWN – Extended unemployment benefits in New York State will soon be reduced.
That’s according to the New York State Department of Labor.
The agency says starting August 9, unemployment will only be available for a maximum of 13 weeks.
The change, officials say, is because the state fell below the federal government’s previously established rate to qualify for the highest level of the extended benefit program.
When those on unemployment pass week 13, they will no longer be eligible for expanded benefits on their existing claim. They will, however, still be eligible for basic benefits through September 5.
Some across the state have argued the extended benefits, put in place due to pandemic mandated closures, are discouraging people from going back to work and creating a labor shortage.
New York State Senator George Borrello has proposed legislation to end the expanded benefits, however that push has not gained traction.
In Chautauqua County, the unemployment rate is at 5.7 percent, up slightly from last month.