Thousands of Mainers will qualify for extended unemployment benefits because of the state’s high unemployment rate.
The Maine Labor Department says the rising unemployment rate, which rose to 7 percent in December, has triggered a 13-week extension of federal benefits.
The move extends emergency benefits to 33 weeks, on top of 26 weeks of regular benefits.
As a result, an estimated 2,477 Mainers who have exhausted their first round of emergency benefits will qualify for extended benefits.
Maine qualified for more emergency benefits because it had a three-month average unemployment rate of at least 6 percent.