Government cutting unemployment benefits for long-term unemployed

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Wisconsin's economy has improved, and now, the federal government is cutting unemployment assistance for some of the long-term unemployed.

Goodwill Workforce Connection Center Manager Cheryl Lightholder says the organization has been extremely instrumental in helping Wisconsinites find employment. Their efforts are partially indicated in the state's numbers. The average unemployment rate has dropped to around 6.7%.

However, due to the lower unemployment rate, the federal government is cutting benefits for emergency unemployment insurance. For some, that means nine weeks less pay.

Marline Nickelson is one of the nearly 10,000 unemployed who will be affected. Nickelson supports five children and says she is already dreading the impact this will have on her life.

"Now they are saying things are getting cut. That's a lot of bull. What am I supposed to do now? I got rent to pay. I got to pay the light bill. That's the only type of income I have coming in. We are barely making it on little things that's coming in. I'm going to have to look even harder," Nickelson said.

Lightholder says she understands that for many people, the job hunt is urgent and she's hoping the Goodwill facilities can give job hunters the resources they need.

"We can help them with resume development, if they lost internet access we can provide them with their own email account to email the resume to companies. We have two to three job fairs a week," Lightholder said.

For workers who have been unemployed for over a year, the benefits cut will take effect the week of February 9th. 

CLICK HERE for additional resources via Goodwill Workforce Connection Center's website.