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Friday, December 27, 2013 - 7:25pm
El Paso, Texas (KDBC) — It's going to be a less than happy new year for more than 2,500 El Pasoans among the over 1 million Americans that will stop receiving unemployment benefits this weekend.
State and local organizations are stepping up to try and help those that could be affected, even though Texas will be one of the least affected states more than 77,000 people won't receive a check after Saturday and if you're one of them there's only one option for you.
"The holidays are just passed people have to get back on their feet so I think I'm against it I don't think that its right that they're cutting people's benefits at all," unemployed El Paso resident Jennifer Carruthers said.
Carruthers recently lost her job after she suffered a leg injury and became disabled. She’s been struggling to find a new job and says even though there's assistance available there are also many obstacles.
"I've filled out over 300 applications and I've got maybe two calls back so that kind of sums it up there is just really hard," Carruthers added.
The emergency unemployment compensation program expired after congressional leaders failed to fund an extension.
"In the El Paso area approximately 2,573 individuals have been receiving emergency unemployment compensation so those individuals would be affected by ending of the emergency compensation program this weekend," Texas Workforce Commission spokesperson Mark Lavergne said.
Most unemployed Texans typically receive 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. They won't be affected but unemployed residents seeking a longer term extension from the federal government will be impacted.
"We are ready to help them find employment opportunities we understand that the individuals affected by the ending of this program are in a very difficult situation right now," Lavergne added.
Workforce Solutions’ chief operating officer Teo Ugalde said his organization is encouraging those affected to stop by to start applying for jobs.
"We can help them to polish their resumes to go into short term training even to be able to do better interviews," Ugalde said.
According to the Texas Workforce Commission this year more than 274,000 jobs were created in Texas while only 400 were added in El Paso County.
If you wish to receive assistance call El Paso Workforce Solutions at: (915) 532-1059