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December 20, 2021

Federal extended unemployment benefits in CT ending in January

Photo | CT Mirror

Jobless Connecticut residents will soon no longer qualify for federal extended unemployment benefits.

Officials with the state Department of Labor said Connecticut will drop out of the federal extended benefits program effective Jan. 8, because the state’s three-month average unemployment rate has now fallen below 6.5%, the threshold for continued payments.

Connecticut’s official jobless rate dropped from 6.4% in October to 6% in November, according to the November labor report.

Federal extended benefits provide a 13-week extension to regular state unemployment compensation. According to the Labor Department, approximately half of the state’s 45,000 weekly unemployment filers are currently using extended benefits, and will be notified that the assistance is coming to an end.

Almost two years in the COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut’s employment figures remain a mixed bag. While the state has recorded 11 consecutive months of job growth, unemployment of 6% still trails the U.S. average of 4.2%, a fact some business leaders and business interest groups have blamed on the continuation of some benefit payments that were first implemented during the dire early days of the health crisis.

The state is also dealing with a nearly unprecedented labor shortage, with unfilled openings taking a toll on many industries, especially retailers and restaurants, some of which have closed or limited their hours of operation in response.

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