Nevada's Jobless Say Benefits Extension is Necessary - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Nevada's Jobless Say Benefits Extension is Necessary

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About 18,000 Nevadans have been without unemployment benefits since they expired December 28.

That will all change if Congress votes in favor of an extension.  

Nevada's economy continues to recover, with the unemployment rate down to 9%.

During the height of the recession, 150,000 Nevadans were collecting emergency unemployment compensation. Last month, that number was down to about 50,000. "For every three workers, there's one job," Jeffrey Frischmann, UI Operations Chief of DETR said. "So, it's still tight out there. We don't have enough jobs for the number of people that are actually looking for work."

Margaret Creekmore has been looking for work for almost a year, applying for about 20 jobs a week.

She's was collecting about $360 a week until her unemployment benefits expired. "I don't know how I'm going to pay my rent, where I'm going to find the money to buy gas to look for work," Creekmore said. "It's pretty scary out there."

Paul Chapman has been unemployed for more than a year, picking up temp jobs here and there. He says an extension is important, but should not be abused. "If it's really necessary, yes," Chapman said. "But for those who haven't really bothered looking for work, then no. It's sort of a balance. Where do you draw the line?"

Some argue that if Congress does not extend the benefits, it will hurt the economy. "For every dollar that's paid out in unemployment, it's estimated that it puts another $1.50 back into the local economies," Frischmann said.

While many of the unemployed say an extension would be a helpful short-term solution.

They say the long term solution is full-time work. "We need to find jobs for Nevada," Creekmore said. "We need jobs. We need places where people can go. Unfortunately, a lot of us got laid off or separated from our jobs. We need jobs."

Anyone who had their benefits suspended is encouraged to keep filing for their benefits every week. Then if Congress makes an extension, money will be sent out faster.

There's also a chance that pay could be retroactive to January 1.

Written by Paul Nelson
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