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Nevada’s declining jobless rate triggers end of state extended benefits

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By Nevada News Bureau Staff: About 5,500 unemployment insurance recipients who are collecting State Extended Benefits (SEB) will see an end to those benefits on July 7, the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) announced today.

Renee Olson, administrator for DETR’s Employment Security Division, said Nevada’s declining unemployment rate, which hit 11.6 percent in May, is the reason for the end of the benefits. The May rate announced Friday is the lowest in Nevada in three years and the ninth consecutive month of declines.

SEB is a federally funded extended unemployment insurance program available to high unemployment states, and has been active in Nevada since February 2009. Federal and state laws mandate that states in which SEB is paid have a three-month average unemployment rate that remains at least 10 percent higher than the corresponding months in any one of the three prior years.

Nevada’s current three-month average unemployment rate is 11.8 percent, and in order to meet this threshold for SEB, Nevada’s three-month average rate would have needed to be 12 percent or higher, Olson said.

“This exceptionally severe recession left many people unemployed for long periods of time,” she said. “The SEB program assisted them while they continued to search for their next job, and we understand that this is unfortunate news for those who depend on these benefits. We are committed to continuing to help them in their job search through Nevada JobConnect.”

SEB has provided up to a maximum of 20 additional weeks of extended unemployment benefits. Those individuals currently exhausting the fourth tier of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) may be eligible for SEB through the week ending July 7.

The SEB program is not part of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program. The EUC program will remain available for those exhausting regular state unemployment insurance benefits. The federally funded EUC program will remain in effect until the end of 2012.

DETR is notifying all individuals currently receiving SEB by mail that the program is ending, Olson said. Notices include information on how to access other government resources, including services provided by the Nevada JobConnect locations and public assistance offices. Telephone claims representatives will not have any further information to provide.

“The declining unemployment rate suggests that Nevada’s labor market is on the mend, however, we recognize that it is still a challenge for many to find work,” said DETR Director Frank R. Woodbeck. “With continuous support from the governor’s office, DETR is committed to doing everything possible to rebuild Nevada’s economy, which means attracting more businesses to the state and cultivating our training and placement services offered through Nevada JobConnect. We want to assure our citizens we are behind them every step of the way through this difficult time.”

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