Federal unemployment benefits in jeopardy
GRAVES COUNTY, Ky. - Sherry Adams spent Wednesday at the Mayfield Career Center, applying for another job.
"This one's for a receptionist job here in Mayfield," she explained while filling out paperwork
She admits she may be overqualified, but she has been out of work since August.
"I've always worked since I was 15 years old and I'm lost without having a job," she continued.
Adams is making it thanks to state unemployment benefits, but in a few months, that help will run out.
"It's scary, it's really scary. Am I going to have a full time job by May?"
If she does not, she will have to rely on federal assistance and that could be cut by up to ten percent next week.
Congress has been tasked with $85 billion in forced spending cuts. It was announced Wednesday federal unemployment benefits may be the way to go. The cuts would affect 3.8 million Americans who are without work.
"You need it, you need every bit that you can get," Adams says of assistance.
Many at the Mayfield Career Center are also relying on those benefits. Jon Pendergrass is the center's Director and says lately he has been encouraged.
"Actually we've seen some pickup from the job market," he said of recent weeks.
But, he said, things could be better, "There are several days where we will have more people than actual jobs to fill."
Adams, for her part is holding out hope she does not need to apply for those federal benefits, reduced or not.
"You just hope and pray you're going to find something."
Those payments average about $300 a week, which means most would be losing out on $30 each week.
Veterans Transition Assistance, which helps military personnel find jobs when they return home,could also be on the chopping block. States could also lose part of their funding to administer the unemployment insurance program, which could mean layoffs and slower claims processing.