Starting next week thousands of Alaskans will see their weekly unemployment insurance benefits shrink due to federal sequestration budget cuts.
The Alaska Department of Labor on Monday announced the average federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation check will go from about $245 a week to about $186 — a reduction of nearly 24 percent.
The cuts go into effect May 19th. They will not affect Alaskans who receive regular state unemployment, only those getting payments under the federal emergency compensation program. The state program provides up to 26 weeks of unemployment insurance. Once a worker exhausts those, the federal program provides an additional 37 weeks.
The Labor Department estimates about 14,000 Alaskans are nearing the end of their state unemployment benefits or are already receiving federal emergency unemployment.
Congress created the emergency unemployment compensation program in 2008 to deal with those long term unemployed workers affected by the recession. At one point it offered up to 53 weeks of additional benefits beyond regular state unemployment.
- Owners of the dilapidated Bergmann Hotel say they are selling their downtown properties. The historic hotel was shut down in March after being condemned by the city over safety hazards.
- The remains of Kyle Stevens, 31, have been found. Missing after taking off from Russian Mission last week, Stevens’ body was recovered Friday in the Yukon River near the village. The crashed plane was found days earlier.
- Tribal groups from opposite ends of the state have formed an alliance to fight mines they say threaten traditional fisheries.
- The deadline for bids and public comment on a proposed Haines-area timber sale has been extended. The University of Alaska is offering up 400 acres of old growth Sitka spruce and western hemlock on the Chilkat Peninsula.