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Labor Commissioners Urged Extension of Unemployment Insurance

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NYS Labor Commissioner Patricia Smith and leaders of other states call on US Senators to extend unemployment benefits

By Eileen Buckley

Niagara Falls, NY – With unemployment rates at their highest level in decades across much of the Country, U.S. Senators are being urged to extend unemployment insurance. State labor commissioner Patricia Smith and leaders from ten other states gathered in Niagara Falls yesterday to call on Senators to extend benefits for thousands of Americans.

400,000 of the nation's unemployed stand to lose their benefits when they expire at the end of this month. Commissioner Smith says the House passed a bill this week to provide a 13-week extension, but now the Senate must take up the issue.

New York's unemployment rate stands at 9%, the highest since April of 1983. But it is much worse in Michigan where it is the highest in the nation at 15.2%.

John Lasky of Lewiston is among Western New York's unemployed. He lost his job last November. He's not sure what he will do if his unemployment runs out. For now Lasky has been told his benefits will last until the spring. But he says he wakes up every morning with an incredible level of anxiety.

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