CHARLESTON, W.Va. – As many as 6,900 West Virginians are among the estimated more than 1.3 million people across the United States who will see their federal emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) benefits end on Saturday.

The U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives failed to approve an extension for the program that provides those benefits, which were first implemented in 2008 after the recession, before leaving Washington, D.C. for the holiday break.

Dave Watson, assistant director of benefits for WorkForce West Virginia, said they’ve been taking a lot of calls from state residents about the coming end of the benefits.  “Most claimants are understanding and know where it’s come (from),” said Watson of the Congressional inaction.  “There is some concern.”

Watson said the number of affected West Virginians is an estimate based on the people collecting EUC, or the long-term unemployment benefits, in the Mountain State as of November.

In West Virginia, when a person loses his or her job, he or she is eligible for 26 weeks of unemployment benefits from the state.  After that 26 week window closes, those who have still not found work in the Mountain State qualify for 28 weeks of EUC benefits which are paid by the federal government, meaning a possible 54 total weeks of unemployment.

It’s those federal payments that are ending because Republicans opposed a one year extension which would have cost an estimated $25 billion.

Democrats are expected to push for a three month extension of EUC benefits when members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House return to Washington, D.C. in January.  House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has said he would support an extension only if corresponding cuts are made elsewhere in the federal budget.

Watson said any extension, depending on its specifics and when it was approved, would take time to implement fully to resume payments.

Until the matter is addressed, Watson said those losing their benefits this weekend can find additional job resources at www.workforcewv.org and at WorkForce West Virginia offices across the state.

“There’s other services we provide too such as potential training, job openings and other employment-type services,” said Watson.

West Virginia’s unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in November, compared with seven percent nationwide.

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Comments

  • JimJim

    We should all remember "Shutdown Shelly"!

  • LEE ARTHUR

    Hey people there are many jobs in the USA , you just have to get off your butt's and look for them . When I left the state in " 67" I never looked back , it's the best decision I ever made. They don't call WV dirt poor for nothing.

  • Bill Hill

    I live in Hardy county, home of the poultry industry. Someone explain to me why Pilgrims Pride imports workers from other countries to work in their plant here in Moorefield and yet we have politicians screaming for an extension of unemployment benefits? The work may not be the greatest, but it does pay and keeps one off the dole.

    • JimJim

      The company pays imported workers less. Then the company makes more money. It's the American Way.

  • jeff

    I was fired for a answer on a survey question I took , if I was treated like a customer instead I was treated like I didn't matter this wouldn't have happened. Some companies fire people unfairly and should be held responsible . This at-will state such as West Virginia , ive been there for 5 years and they fired people for the dumbest reasons, they should investigate these companies, like a dodge dealership in Wheeling west virgina

    • Joe

      First off, I am sure there were other reasons than that. Your attitude comes across loud and clear even in a typed message.

      Also, and most importantly....life is unfair. Do not like it, be your own boss.

  • winston

    right to work would help

  • Jason412

    If everyone "moved where good jobs are" the population of WV would fall about 2/3(a guess, not a fact). Between the people working dead end jobs to make ends meet, the unemployed, and kids just entering the job market Id say thats about 2/3 of the population that could better themselves by moving.

    Personally, moving out of state was the best thing I ever did for myself. If not for family obligations I would of never came back and not thought twice about it. A lot of people in their early 20's like myself feel the same way, and will continue to take their skills and education elsewhere, which will inevitably continue to contribute to the decline of WV for all of its residents.

  • Fed Up

    There r hundred of jobs here if people would just get of their rear and go looking. But it's much easier to sit home and get a check in the mail. Enough said ..

  • Fairport

    In WV if the people would fight for more industries to come to our state the way the people fight for coal jobs, we would not be in bad shape in southern part of the state. The community leaders and people in these areas need to travel to other parts of WV to see how thriving the state really is! Stop whining about coal as it is not coming back like it was. Just like when the continuous mining machine took over mining and thousands upon thousands of jobs were lost, coal camps rotted down, company stores died, cities became ghost towns, to name a few things.

    • Aaron

      What type of jobs would you recommend these civic leaders fight for, where will they place the work sites and how will the goods be delivered to and from these industries?

  • Fairport

    I was shocked to find that all the newspapers in WV had no jobs in the classified. No wonder we still had 6900 on long-term unemployment. I also think it is ridiculous for someone to move to find work after the mines/factory/business shuts down. As we all know this has never happened in the history of America.

    • Joe

      I suggest you look at the newspapers of Morgantown, Fairmont and Clarksburg. Also, the state DOH announcd they have thousand jobs they cannot fill.

      Stop with the lame excuses.

      • Bondo

        However, the state is ready to implement a hiring freeze. . .

        • Joe

          Ok...so you then look at the other opportunities.

      • Fairport

        Joe I was speaking with tongue in check. I just read an article where a city is begging people to apply for jobs as trash truck drivers at a good wage. Jobs are here but companies are not going to drag someone off his/her couch.

        • GregG

          Funny you should mention that. On one of the roads I travel regularly I often get behind a trash truck. Now this is what I would consider a very dangerous, twisting, turning, back road with very steep hills. On several occasions I have sit behind this truck on a steep grade unable to even go around it, while the driver has to get out and toss the trash into the truck. Now I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but in my opinion that is totally uncalled for and down right dangerous to being operating a trash truck with only one employee. Actually I am utterly amazed that OSHA allows this. And when one of the employees gets hurts or the unmanned, idling truck rolls back and hits another vehicle (they sure don't look to be the safest trucks on the road), then what? Oh I know, that's where we need that tort reform everyone keeps screaming about.

          • Fairport

            One thing for sure, we need no tort reform. In fact we have had so much tort reform insurance companies are making millions from hardworking wv people. My insurance did not go down even though the insurance companies have won every thing they wanted! They need two workers per truck as you say. But if they only got one what do you do with the trash if they don't work.

  • David

    You all need to be careful on what you say!! One of these days it might be YOU that's out of a job, and then, oops....my unemployment ran out, I have nothing in savings, I had to drain my 401k.....Now what do I do???? Some people wont go out and look for work, but some do!!!

    • Joe

      This would only happen to someone who refuses to attempt to go to where the jobs are, have done nothing proactively to improve their marketability, did not save appropriately in the event of a layoff or firing situation, or numerous other empty excuses. The powder river basin and shale industry have an incredible amount of openings companies cannot fill.

      The typical scenario is that collecting unemployment will be done until it is exhausted, then I will start looking seriously. That is the inconvenient truth.

      • SamWvu304

        With this whole ordeal happening,watch for crime rate to double. drugdealing,stealing,killing..Those industries you speak of have a zero tolerance in effect now.That's why they can't fill the positions. So you want to control what We do at home,but not pay US while I'm home? How can. you tell me people would want that? "WE THE PEOPLE " ARE FREE?????but not when you work for so n so..

      • David

        Joe, I'm the 'other' David, the regular poster here... Growing up in southern WV, working in a business which relied largely on summer-vacationing coal miners, I was always puzzled by laid-off coal miners who wouldn't look for or accept lower-paying jobs, and wouldn't leave their home towns to find jobs. They had grown up where they were, had worked there, and they were staying there whether there was work for them or not - and they wouldn't work for less.

    • Joe

      Why again exactly do disability claims rise with extended unemployment?!

    • Joe

      Also check out WVU and WVU Hospital openings. Also search monster.com regardless of region of the country.

      I just found thousands of potential opportunities in 3 minutes.

      • WVgirl

        I'm from Parkersburg and I went to WVU (on a promise scholarship) where I obtained an engineering degree. I could not find ANY good jobs in WV after graduation so I had to move to the Midwest. The jobs for people with technical degrees are just not there in WV like other states. I had no other choice but to move where the money/opportunity is, and it is definitely NOT in WV, sadly...

        • JimJim

          You're 100% correct. In 30 years you can retire in WV. Good Luck!

      • The bookman

        You are missing David's point, Joe. You see, David's heart is larger than the average heart. Certainly larger than mine or yours...we look at the expiration of these benefits and say, "It's about time!" Go find a job, and here is how you do it! Wow! Look at the opportunities! C'mon, you CAN do it!

        David sees the image of the unemployed who don't heed that call...settle into the "Oh woe is me!" mentality and have nowhere to go but the couch.

        The truth is that both outcomes are accurate. There will be those who find new opportunities and those who don't. The difference between you and I and David is the enormity of his heart. He will always come down on the side of saving every last possible soul as that is the responsibility of government. We will always rely on the individual to rise to occasion and make the most of the opportunities in front of them, as self improvement cannot be the responsibility of government.

        He can't understand the coarseness of our philosophy, and we cannot get past his inability to see the bigger picture, that even if we had the money to extend these and other benefits into perpetuity, which we don't, it does not serve those receiving the benefit as it creates a cycle of dependency that repeats through generations.

        Thanks for trying to convince him, though! I've been trying to hire since August and get lots of responses from people filling out paperwork for WorkForce WV, but few who were really looking for a job. My guess is that maybe that will change going into the new year!

        • Joe

          I wonder if any thought and stat calculation has been given to the economic impact on business owners and their human resources staff resulting from wasted hours reviewing applications and resumes from applicants simply going through the motions without any true intent on seriously considering the opportunity.

          • The bookman

            No, because no one cares about the wasted resources of business owners!

          • JimJim

            Do you get employees from out of state?

          • The bookman

            JimJim:

            My last hire came from Ohio!

  • Harpers Ferry

    While I agree that those out of work should find jobs, whatever it may be, to support their families, it's much more difficult than that, and to the fault of WV. How do you find a job in places of of WV that live and die off the coal industry (i.e., southern WV)? These out-of-state coal companies came in, got a sweet-heart deal from our state gov't and skipped town after they got what they wanted (money) with no care for the people that worked the mines. What is sad is that WV will repeat that mistake with natural gas companies just as they did the coal and timber companies that have pillaged our land for 150 years. I'm a Conservative, yet even I don't blame this on Obama because it's common sense to know that there's only so much coal you can mine. Coal is not an unlimited supply, just like natural gas. Think LONG TERM, not short term!!!

    • susanf1218

      How do you find a job, you ask? It's simple - you move to where the jobs are instead of sitting there waiting for the jobs to come to you. And in some places, like southern WV, those jobs aren't ever going to come.

      • JimJim

        You are 100% correct! So, don't be stupid, more to another state.

  • Gary Karstens

    Mean old Republicans!

  • I Work

    People need to get off the couch and get a job. I don't like to work, but I get out of bed everyday and go. Started working when I was 15. Too many people relying on hand outs. That's what's wrong with this country.

    • Joe

      Totally agree. I do not feel one bit of sympathy for extended unemployed. They need to look in the mirror. We are tired ofpaying for you. 80 percent need to go where the jobs are. The reasons for why they cannot are empty excuses.

    • bill

      I agree. We need ole school if you don't work you don't eat. Stop Imports. Every time our worthless gov hand out millions to a foreign country,, they need to take that money and build a factory for a product that is sent from china and put americans to work. its that simple Washington cant figure it out

  • BAC

    Unemployment benefits can't go on forever; the current extension was meant to be temporary. Many won't intensely seek employment until those benefits run out. There are thousands of employees out there needing workers. You see help-wanted signs everywhere.

    • BAC

      Correction: employers needing workers

    • DWL

      Yea it can. They just call it welfare and the liberals line up for it and the O-phones. Lets not forget their free O-care too.

  • David

    My heart goes out to these folks and their families.

    • Joe

      Why David? Not sure I understand what your point is.

      • SamWvu304

        Because some people on this long term benefits plan have worked their @$$ off for years and years to just keep living the American dream they had/have. I for one have had a job since before I graduated. Now I have many certifications which I've taken all across the country and worked in other states,rarely in my own.Wv. is home to all my family,why should I have to leave them to just survive this economic meltdown? Sounds to me as if OUR states leaders need to be put in check.Stop letting WV get the so called $hit end of the stick.However I do agree coal is not the long term answer it is the here and now stop the war on it. You stop the war against Wv and its residents.Like is happening right now. How many other states have this EUC cut? nada id bet...just my opinion thgh. but hey who am I?.. a taxpayer regardless my income.

        • SamWvu304

          Correction ; 1.3 million people ..not just Wv. Ok...bet the others are Kentucky,Virginia,etc... coal based locations..I dk..i just work WHEN there's work to be done..

          • The bookman

            How about all across the Country...it's a federal program!

      • David

        Joe, First, the above post of mine is the only one I've made on this thread. The other "David" isn't me. Secondly, to answer your question, my heart goes out to them because I know that some, probably most, are in a very difficult position. Can you not imagine circumstances which would result in a person being unable to find a job that would actually support themselves or their families? Imagine that they 'could' all get a minimum wage job, for 20 hours a week. What happens then? That 20 hours stops their unemployment, and isn't enough to pay their bills. They have to buy gas to get to work, but don't have enough money to pay car insurance. They don't have bus service available. They have to buy and maintain work-appropriate clothes, but can't even afford to eat in the fast-food in which they work. What do you think should happen to these people and their families? Please, be very specific. Either explain exactly how they can work and support themselves and continue living in West Virginia, or admit that you don't care even a little bit.

        • The bookman

          David,

          It's natural to care and to feel the pain of others who find themselves in difficult circumstances. I feel for people who live in poverty and find it difficult to find substantive work. But we also can't create government programs that protect every person from financial difficulty...that isn't feasible. Charitable organizations like churches, United Way, Mtnr Food Bank, Salvation Army to name a few are the answer for issues like this...not un-expiring unemployment benefits. There have to be limits to what our government can provide. That doesn't make anyone heartless, just realistic.

          • David

            I don't think you or Joe are heartless, Bookman. And I don't think I have a bigger heart than either of you. I think it's probably largely a matter of a difference of life experiences. No matter what our differences of opinions, I suspect our core values are amazingly similar. I hope you both have a great new year, good health, and prosperity.

          • The bookman

            David, I appreciate you letting us off the hook, however, you did require Joe to solve the impossible problem of providing specific answers to the unemployment and underemployment issues facing these folks confronting the expiration of federal unemployment benefits, or accept the fact that he really didn't care about it. Understand that caring about those less fortunate is independent of the principles of conservatism, that individuals, regardless of their circumstances can, and more importantly should, strive to stand on their own two feet. The United States is still the land of opportunity for anyone willing to seek it. May your New Year be as prosperous as your will and desire to seek prosperity allows, as that is my wish for everyone in the New Year!

    • DWL

      David, what's your address so we can send all these freeloaders over to your house and you pay to support them? Let your bleeding heart wallet get emptied by the freeloading leftists.

      • GregG

        I didn't realize that it was ONLY "leftists" (democrats) that become unemployed.

      • Fairport

        dwl, that comment was pretty stupid as the vast majority of the unemployed in WV are Obama haters.....

        • JimJim

          And, you didn't think that you would pay for not voting for him. WV went for the guy who lost. Now we are paying..

      • David

        DWL, I gladly pay my taxes. I'm almost fifty years old, and I've worked since I was nine years old. You know nothing about me, except that I care about people - and you can't stand that for some reason.

        • Hop'sHip

          David: You will find that many that hang here think empathy is a character flaw. They look to Rush Limbaugh for moral guidance. When they encounter someone down and out they don't think "that could be me" but rather "get out of my sight!" You know. Just good Christian folks.

          • The bookman

            Again, Hop'ship,

            Empathy for one's fellow man is not mutually exclusive of a conservative philosophy. Our answers to the problems facing the unemployed and the under employed are simply different than yours. That does not mean we aren't sympathetic to their plight. We believe government makes their problems worse, not better. Addicting families to the nourishment of the Government teet sets them up for the harsh reality that at some point, without notice, it will suddenly be removed.

            Sorry! Just remembered! You don't subscribe to teaching a man to fish to feed himself. You just like giving him a fish everyday so he is endeared, or indentured, to you for life. Yeah! We've argued this before! It's not about solving their problem. It's about keeping them coming back to you for more fish. Honestly, I have a good deal of respect for your intellect. So I have to ask you, are you aware that you are supporting such a detrimental action on people in dire financial straits, or do you justify it because you believe it is in the overall best interest of the country?

          • Hop'sHip

            bookman: Maybe I am naïve about human nature. You may be right that these people, many who have been gainfully employed all of their adult life and who just happened to find themselves in the wrong job at the wrong place at the wrong time, will decide getting extended UI that amounts to a fraction of their prior earnings is a pretty good deal and decide that they will be satisfied with that the rest of their lives. I like to think that most will use the help to maintain a level of dignity and self worth that will allow them to continue that search for an employer who will give them an opportunity to become a productive member of the community again. But I am interested in your alternative "teach them how to fish" plan. So far what I have heard from conservatives is take away their fish and the worthy ones will figure it out somehow.

            By the way, I support continuing extended UI as long as the labor market remains weak just as a sound macro-economic policy. Economists I respect believe that stopping this effective counter-cyclical program will hurt a still weak economic recovery.

          • The bookman

            HH:

            They think it hurts the economy because it is stimulus by another name. They fear taking any amount of certain money out of the economy as they know that it has been stimulus that has kept the economy buoyed since 2008.

            The Fed has begun to taper QE, unemployment rates are down by the administrations calculation, and projections are the economy is going to slowly accelerate in 2014. These extended benefits have been in place for 5 years, and have offered a near two year continuous benefit to find a job.

            Having a job and providing for oneself or one's family is important and empowering. Why should we continue to subsidize families or individuals who choose to live in areas bereft of opportunities to work and live? If you have been looking for a job in the same place for 26 weeks, half a year, and haven't found gainful employment, then it is long past time to look elsewhere. This program allowed people to hang around for 3 weeks shy of two years! I have family and friends that moved away in the 80's during the recession that have never returned save the holidays. They have prospered and done well. But they exhausted every resource available before leaving. Ninety nine weeks is a very long time to come to the same conclusion you could have reached at 26 weeks. And a lot of resources.

            I read this week the extended benefits cost 25 Billion per year, and over the last 5 years that's 125 Billion dollars. That's a chunk of change when you consider all the flap over this last budget resolution achieving a mere 7 Billion in savings over 10 years. I've seen poverty in my life, as well as a parent exhaust his unemployment benefit. I've also seen him at the conclusion of 26 weeks seriously look for work and find it in an economy much worse than this one. I've also seen him diversify his skills to find a better career and watched him last year retire. So unless you want to chalk that up to one lucky roll of the dice, I would suggest that had he received an extended package, he would have not seriously looked for a job until they expired. The process is not intended to operate as a term benefit, and then find a job. The unemployed are to look for gainful employment across the time period and leave the benefit upon finding a job. But it doesn't perform that way. The impetus to get that next job arrives when the term is up. Are you so distraught over Obama's economy that you do not think it can provide jobs for 6900 West Virginians? They may not be able to stay in McDowell County, or Calhoun, or Pocahontas! But maybe the time has long since passed that a decision to move to better economic conditions should have been made. Somewhere where the fishing is a little better!

          • Joe

            Eveyone has looked everywhere for a job. No one is simply collecting. My god, take a look around your neighborhood convenience store. Talk about motivated people who understand it is others paying their way while they play the lottery.

            Why should they leave to find a job? Thats for suckers. They have earned it. The world owes them.

            Btw-i'll take 25 of #14 and 20 dollars on Powerball.