Georgia’s dropping unemployment rate means a cut in federal unemployment benefits for thousands of workers in the state.

About 15,000 people will lose a final 20 weeks of extended unemployment benefits April 21, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported (http://bit.ly/HvlNcQ ).

Workers losing their unemployment insurance payments this month have been without jobs the longest. They are drawing checks from the last of six layers of state unemployment and federal extensions that can stretch to nearly two years.

The state’s improving unemployment numbers triggered the cut in benefits, said Brenda Brown, the unemployment insurance director at the state Department of Labor.

Georgia’s three-month average unemployment rate from January to March was 9.24 percent. To keep the last federal extension, it needed to be higher, according to federal regulations.

The number of employers offering jobs has ticked up noticeably since the end of January, said Robert Gordon, the career center manager at the DeKalb Career Center.

“After Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we had employers calling, posting job orders and doing recruitment,” he said.

As word of hiring has gotten out, more of the unemployed have come in for training and help, Gordon said.

“Of course, it will take a while to absorb all the people who still don’t have jobs,” he said.

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Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com

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