BOISE -- On the eve of Idaho's latest unemployment numbers, the Department of Labor has some bad news for thousands of Idahoans receiving unemployment benefits.
By the end of the year 6,100 Idahoans who are receiving extended unemployment benefits will no longer get that money because Congress decided not to renew those extensions.
In August, Idaho's unemployment rate was 7.4 percent. That's down from a recession high of 8.9 percent in July 2011. As more people find work, others are faced with losing government assistance.
For the fourth time in a year - extended unemployment benefits are getting scaled back.
There doesn't appear to be any interest at all in extending benefits beyond the end of the year, so the current extensions will expire at the end of December, said Bob Fick with the Idaho Department of Labor.
When the extended benefit program started in 2008 some unemployed Idahoans received an additional 73 weeks of pay. That's in addition to the state program that pays up to 26 weeks. By the end of the year 6,100 people will stop receiving benefits.
They really need to redouble their efforts to find work despite how slow the economy is, and we can help them do that if they come into our local offices, said Fick.
Redoubling their efforts is easier said than done.
The recession was extremely long compared to past recessions, and much deeper than any recession we've had since World War II, said Fick.
At the peak in 2009, there were five Idahoans for every one job. Now, three years later, there are two people for every one job. Compare that to 2007, before the recession, and there were two jobs for every job seeker.
It takes awhile when things are as slow as they are now, coming back it's going to take a long time to regain that kind of level, said Fick.
A job fair Friday could help with that. WDS in Boise is hiring 700 people to take calls for Verizon. From noon to 2 p.m., people can go to the Idaho Department of Labor office on 2nd and Main streets in downtown Boise for an in-person interview.
You can get more information on the job fair by clicking here.
Any kind of job like that are a big boom to any economy, especially in the pre-stages of recovery that we're in, said Fick.
Right now there's no word on what Idaho's unemployment rate will be. Fick says we probably won't get back to pre-recession job levels until the end of 2014, but more likely 2015.