WASHINGTON (WTVB) - Michigan U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow is heading up an effort to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program beyond its current expiration date of December 28th. Stabenow says the measure is needed because 43,000 people in Michigan will see their unemployment insurance benefits dry up immediately, including 160 people in Branch County. She adds that another 86,000 see an end to their benefits six months into the new year without action. If the deadline passes without action, retroactive measures can be taken in Congress the first full week of the new year. Michigan's unemployment rate is currently estimated at 8.8%, still well above the national average of 7%. Branch County’s unemployment rate was placed at 8.5% in October. The local November numbers will be released early next month.
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