Who Gets 99 Weeks of Unemployment Benefits?

By Beacon Staff

A key element of the “tax-cut plan” compromise reached by President Barack Obama and Republican leaders is extending unemployment insurance to millions of out-of-work Americans. Much has been made about how long the benefits should last, but what’s also interesting is how they are correlated to each state’s unemployment rate.

We often hear about the 99 weeks of benefits, but in Montana, where the unemployment rate stands at 7.3 percent, someone out of work receives unemployment insurance for 73 weeks. In North Dakota, where unemployment is just 2.8 percent, the jobless can receive benefits for 60 weeks.

Here’s a map showing the discrepancy:

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