February 10, 2009 5:15 PM
Officials will release $2 billion more in unemployment insurance funds to address the recent spike in jobless claims; more than 420,000 New Yorkers are on the dole.
(AP) - Gov. David Paterson and legislative leaders have agreed to release $2 billion more in unemployment insurance funds to deal with a spike in claims.
New unemployment claims have doubled to a weekly average of about 25,000 from about 12,500 a year ago. There are now more than 420,000 New Yorkers receiving benefits. That's up 175,000 from last year's average.
Mr. Paterson and the lawmakers needed to agree on additional funding to avoid running out of money for benefits by the end of the fiscal year March 31.
Workers and employers won't pay more in payroll deductions. The money will come from the federal Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.
The average weekly benefit is $309 and, because of a recent federal change, can be received for up to 59 weeks after a new claim.
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