CREATED Jul. 5, 2012
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- It's a bittersweet week for Nevada. The state's unemployment rate has dropped. But because of that, thousands of residents will lose their State Extended Benefits (SEB) on Saturday.
"It's hard enough out there. I don't know what to do anymore," said Mary Pfeiffer, who has been unemployed since November.
"SEB is pretty much the last tier of the benefit program. So those are the people who are going to lose those benefits. These are people who have pretty much been out of work for some time and have been on unemployment for quite a while," explained Mae Worthey, with the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
Those benefits are part of a federally funded program, available to high unemployment states, for people whose basic jobless benefits ran out.
Around 5,500 Nevada residents are collecting those benefits, which provide up to 20 additional weeks of unemployment checks.
"The unfortunate part about people being cut off of SEB is that they're being immediately cut off. So they may have been expecting to still receive benefits for a certain number of weeks and they're going to be abruptly cut off immediately," said Worthey.
Mary Pfeiffer said the news was definitely a shock, "I didn't know what to do. I'm like I can't find a job, I don't have benefits, what are we supposed to do?"
But in order to continue that funding, Nevada's three-month unemployment rate average needed to be 12-percent or higher. The state recently came in at 11.8-percent.
"Of course we are seeing things improve; people are starting to go back to work. But still, there are a number of people who are out of work and they are still being affected by this economic situation we're dealing with in the state," said Worthey.
Despite the benefits coming to an end, the ultimate goal is to get people, like Mary Pfeiffer, back to work.