5:47 am December 11, 2009, by Henry Unger
Georgia’s unemployment insurance fund is running dry and our labor commissioner will be asking for a federal loan soon to replenish it.
In two years, the state has paid roughly $2.6 billion to laid-off Georgians, AJC staffer Michael Kanell reports. That flood of checks has left the state’s trust fund nearly empty.
In the next week, state Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond will likely ask the federal government for a loan so the state can keep paying its share of the benefits, Kanell reports.
Roughly 269,000 Georgians now receive unemployment checks, more than half are funded by federal extensions. If those benefits are not again extended, an estimated 143,511 people in the state are going to be without benefits at year’s end, according to a study by the National Employment Law Project – a guess embraced by the Labor Department.
Meanwhile, nearly 73,000 laid-off workers placed initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits, the state Labor Department reported Thursday. That is a decrease of just 2.9 percent from the same month last year in the aftermath of the financial meltdown that sent the economy diving, Kanell writes.
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