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White: Unemployment End Dates Extended Under Federal ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal

The maximum number of benefit weeks that an eligible unemployed worker in Pennsylvania can receive remains at 63.

The federal "fiscal cliff" agreement pushed back the end date for existing federal Unemployment Compensation extensions to January 1, 2014. 

State officials say they encourage those eligible for extensions to continue to file biweekly claims as usual. 

At the state level, Rep. Jesse White, D-Cecil, said many constituents were hanging on news of a federal deal.

“My office has fielded numerous calls about unemployment compensation issues,” he said. “Even as we do everything we can to put people back to work and dig ourselves out of the recession, we want to ensure that residents can make use of this system as they get back on their feet.”

The maximum number of benefit weeks that an eligible unemployed worker in Pennsylvania can receive remains at 63, as no new weeks of benefit extensions were added. The 63-week cutoff includes regular compensation and extension weeks.

Federal law requires extension weeks to phase out as state unemployment rates decline. As such, if the state unemployment rate falls below 7 percent, the maximum number of benefit weeks will be reduced by nine weeks. 

Pennsylvania’s current unemployment rate is 7.8 percent.

White also said due to the high call volume to unemployment offices, constituents are encouraged to visit his website at www.pahouse.com/white to find answers to unemployment compensation-related questions or to obtain help in filing a claim.

Lynne January 03, 2013 at 02:17 PM
"get back on their feet"??? There are "help wanted" signs EVERYWHERE I go!! As an employer I cannot count how many "unemployed" have come into my business either wanting me to "pay under the table" or just want me to sign the paper they have stating they applied to my business because unemployment requires them to "search" in order to "receive". These people have no trouble telling me how they will collect as long as they can, and really will not look for work until the free money stops. FYI...as an employer I will hire someone who has a job before I will hire someone who has been collecting. The work ethic always seems to be better!
John M. January 04, 2013 at 12:07 AM
I work construction, and a journeyman carpenter. I try to find any work and no one will hire me because I am either overqualified or think I will not stay once I find a better opportunity. I am not a slacker. But I'm 54 years old and in great physical shape. I am going to school at a major university at night, and still cannot get employment, even as a laborer.
Jen A January 04, 2013 at 12:14 AM
I do the hiring in the small local business that I work for and can agree completely with you Lynne as I hear the same thing daily from those that apply. Also, a big problem with disability employees saying that they cannot work any more than so many hrs. It sickens me and we cannot do a darn thing about it but get up in the am and do it over again!!
Barry Jones January 04, 2013 at 12:22 AM
As someone who had been unemployed for over nine months I really take offense at your comments. 1. There may be help wanted signs"everywhere" as you say, but that does not mean that those jobs pay a livable wage. I had turned down interviews when the wage I was told the position would pay. If the job can't pay the bills, then why would anyone take it if the unemployment compensation would? 2. Your generalizations about unemployed people is disgusting. Because you had some people apply to your business that really didn't want to work, does not mean that is true for all unemployed people. 3. "I will hire someone who has a job before I will hire someone who has been collecting. The work ethic always seems to be better"...... Your hiring practices and those like you are one of the reasons so many poeple can't get a job. The stigma that you place on the unemployed is unreasonable. Hire the person that is fitting for the job, whether they are currently employed or have been unemployed for some time. And there are a few that meet your criteria, then hire the person that is unemployed. Why? Because they came to you because they don't have one, and obviously need one. The already employed ones have earned money coming in. Do your part in ending this mass unemployment and hire the unemployed.
Toni madden January 04, 2013 at 01:25 PM
I will tell you.....what about people who lost good jobs and make more on unemployment than getting a minimum wage job??? What are they suppose to do??? Their families are barely getting by on unemployment and you talk about work ethic when people are in survival mode??? Get a grip!!!!!
Ed Vicheck January 04, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Jen, the disability that sickens you is because if they work more than what they are allowed they lose their health benefits and I am willing to bet you don't pay someone starting out for your small local business enough to meet their healthcare needs. It is people like you who take that attitude without knowing all the facts that sicken me. As Toni said above, people are now in survival mode. I probably am more conservative most in this conversation, but I also more ethical than most also. I take the time to understand the situation be for I pass judgement on mu fellow man.
Paola January 05, 2013 at 01:00 AM
Just because there are "HELP WANTED" signs, and you go in and apply for those positions, does not mean you are actually going to GET HIRED, in response to the person above who talked ugly about people on unemployment. It's not free money. We've paid into our unemployment benefits just like you do, I hope you don't have to face the agony of it all or perhaps maybe you should so that you can see how it feels. I have been searching for work for over 7 months! do NOT try on shoes that don't fit if you're not ready for the journey..."Lynne" I'm talking to you.
Roger January 05, 2013 at 04:26 AM
In my experience, what Lynne said is on target. Yes, there are lots of "Help Wanted" signs out. I know many who are unemployed, and have given them lead after lead. They rarely even follow.. I've stopped trying to help them. The Marcellus Shale industry brought many new opportunities. But many locals don't want to work hard, so the jobs are given off to out-of-state workers. I personally know of several cases, "... they work too hard." I see the pattern, "It is not the job I want, and I am not going to apply." What happened to the work ethic that prevailed a few decades ago? Many of us worked jobs we did not want, but used the opportunity to find our way through the maze of employment. When new roadblocks were in the way, take another path, and find a new one that leads elsewhere. For many, it means stepping out the comfort zone of a regular paycheck and starting your own business. It is easy to stand on the sidelines criticizing businesses, but not many are willing to develop a vision, put their capital at risk, work the necessary 50, 60, 70 hours per week to get something new started. The regular paycheck is an easy path. Those willing to step out, take the risk, are the ones who are surviving, and often, doing well. When I see the lines at restaurants, the crowded malls, the uptick in gambling revenues for PA, the new records for car sales, I have a hard time with some complaints. SW PA has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the US.
Roger January 05, 2013 at 04:34 AM
John M, I talked with somebody in home construction in WV two weeks ago. Housing construction has picked up, many who were formerly in the home construction markets have found other work. Builders are now having a very hard time finding workers. The person I talked with was working weekends, just to try to keep pace. I have heard this situation more than one time: Housing contractors cut back a couple of years ago, and those formerly working have moved on to other careers. The basic construction workers are now in short supply. Your age of 54 is working against you, big time. The quicker you realize that fact, the more you may need to consider a major reinvention. Below 50, maybe not so much, but at 54, you are in a deep crack. All the years of experience will easily be overshadowed by your age. Employers are more willing to hire somebody much younger, but with less experience (read: labor costs are much less). To be sure, this is a general statement, but is going to apply to many disciplines.
Roger January 05, 2013 at 04:44 AM
I understand some of the negative comments here. I have much experience in these situations, and understand your situation to some extent (everybody's situation is different). Having said that, you point up the need for lifelong learning. This is an idea that some of us harp on all the time, but is often ignored. The age of getting a job, working the job for a long time, leaving the job if necessary, and getting a like job, is fading. I think the current statistics show that those now entering the workforce will have 4-5 careers during their lifetime. A change of career means learning new things. Unfortunately, the generations coming from the 70s, and beyond, believed their learning cycle ended when they left school, either high school or college. The age of curiosity and new learning has been replaced with entertainment and seeking after pleasure. Rather than gear up for the next step in a career, way too many people are focused on sports, movies, TV programs. The "dead end" comes with a job layoff, and no new plan for the next step. Many expect that somebody will hire them, just "because they should." This is where the large gap between employer and employee emerges. Those not willing to risk anything, not put anything into new ideas, find themselves on the street, wondering why somebody doesn't give them a job. Employment rests at the pleasure of the employer, the one who owes stockholders, owes existing employees, and themselves for survival.
Roger January 05, 2013 at 03:23 PM
Hmmmm, new policy for 2013? Comments posted last night never reached public view, and are listed as "Pending Approval." Is this a new Patch policy?
Nicole January 06, 2013 at 05:46 PM
I am unemployed I am NOT lazy I have been filling out application after application for months I literally counted just now the amount applications I have submitted over the past 30 days and has been over 50. I have received 3 calls out of 50 applications to interview, 2 are pending the other I was overqualified for they told me.I am filling out applications for jobs I know I can do regardless of the pay they are offering. I've been a manager in the customer service field for 15 years. I have office experience, banking, staffing and recruiting skills.I'm applying for office assistants jobs and I'm not getting them..so you really want to tell me 15 years of customer service & management under my belt that I don't have the ability to answer a phone, write a letter and file folder?? Of course I do they just don't want to pay me to do it, employers know I will want more eventually so Im not gi en the chance...this is not my fault. I will continue looking and I'm grateful the benefits have been extended because without them me and my children woul be homeless and hungry that is all the benefits cove, our basic needs. There are lots of us looking and need them to survive;it's not about getting over.This is not a situation that any of us want to be in. We worked, we paid into the system and unfortunately we lost our jobs now it's time for us to find a new and sadly it's taking a lot longer than expected or that it should.
Roger January 09, 2013 at 01:33 PM
Why networking, and remaining very active in the employment community is important, Sitting at home, making token connections to get sign-off for continued unemployment benefits, will not get the job done. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323706704578229661268628432.html
Roger January 09, 2013 at 01:44 PM
Nicole, I understand your frustration and disappointment. There are many instances where a good employee fits "in between," that is, "too high to be low, and too low to be high." I mean to say that your experience may be valuable in the eyes of some, but not others. Rather than pay for that experience, the employer will choose to hire somebody with lesser experience, at a lower pay rate. In those cases, your experience works against you. Even if you are willing to hire on at a lower pay rate, the employer may be reluctant to do so -- thinking you will move on quickly when something better comes down your path. On the other hand, I also see the obstacles coming from the candidate. When given an opportunity, albeit at a lower pay rate than expected, they will let it pass. Sometimes, these opportunities pass and a path to much better opportunities within the business will go untested. A small step backward may be a mistake. Just for reference to your numbers of contacts, letters, etc., I know of a person who spent 18 months looking for work. During that time 675 letters/resumes were sent out. About 125 meetings/interviews were part of the search. With no job offers, a business was started. First year incomes were about 25% of a former salaried income. The business grew, and soon surpassed former income levels. More importantly, work satisfaction grew and grew, despite 60-70 hour work weeks early on. The failed job search was a blessing.

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