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Ohio’s Lower Jobless Rate Means Fewer Benefits for the Jobless

Ohio is facing a catch-22. Because the state's official unemployment rate has dropped to a full percentage point below the national average, the federal government is cutting back its share of emergency unemployment benefits to jobless Ohioans.

Ben Johnson, with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, says people will notice the cutback at the beginning of December.

"The maximum number of weeks that an Ohioan can collect both state and federal [benefits] will drop from 73 to 63," says Johnson.  "December 29th, the federal program is scheduled to end, and beginning in 2013, Ohio will only have the regular 26 weeks of state unemployment available."

At one point during the recession, some Ohioans were receiving up to 99 weeks of jobless benefits. The average weekly check is about 300 dollars.