The state Employment Security Department estimates that 25,000 jobless workers in Washington will lose their unemployment benefits after Dec. 28, when the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program ends.
Congress began the program in July 2008, during the recession, and has extended it 11 times in the past five years. But a budget agreement recently reached in Congress does not include another extension.
Since the program began, $6.3 billion in benefits have been paid to more than 450,000 unemployed workers in Washington. Workers received up to 63 weeks of unemployment benefits in this state, including 26 weeks of regular benefits and 37 weeks of emergency unemployment compensation. After Dec. 28, only regular benefits will be available for most Washington workers.
Roughly half the unemployed workers affected live in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.