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100k Californians to lose unemployment benefits Saturday

Jonathan Horn, SAN DIEGO U-T

Thursday, May 10, 2012

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Q: Is this really the time for the cut to be triggered?
A: There are two sides to the issue. On one hand, job growth in the state is slow, opportunities are limited and people need assistance to live, experts say. However, unemployment insurance is not meant to be a longtime benefit, said Kelly Cunningham, an economist at the National University System Institute for Policy Research.
“The unemployment benefit isn’t really intended to be something you live on. It sort of helps you through a short time period. It’s been extraordinary to extend it to 99 weeks,” he said. “Studies have shown that when you have these unemployment benefits, it does encourage or allow people to pass up job opportunities they could take but they pass them up because they are still looking for a higher paying job ... At some point unfortunately after 99 weeks it’s time to maybe go to other things.”