May 24, 2012 | last updated June 1, 2012 2:48 pm

U.S. pays states to help jobless hire themselves

Uncle Sam is pushing Connecticut and other states to guide their jobless off the unemployment treadmill by going to work for themselves -- and it's doing so by cutting states a check.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday $35 million in grants is being doled to all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to goad them to develop, enhance and promote so-called self-employment assistance programs.

Connecticut is getting $415,008 as its share, the agency said. In all, the six New England states are getting $1.5 million.

Five states -- Maine, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Oregon -- already have programs steering the jobless toward entrepreneurship and qualify to receive grant funds, the agency said.

The other states have until June 30, 2013, to submit complete applications to the department.

The Labor Department vowed to work with interested states to, among other things, assist them in implement self-employment aid programs and identifying potential entrepreneurs who are good candidates to start their own businesses.

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