87,000 Mississippians could lose unemployment benefits - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

87,000 Mississippians could lose unemployment benefits

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By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -- Two million Americans could be without unemployment benefits by the new year after Congress failed to act on the Federal Emergency Unemployment Benefits Program.

Jackson resident, Tamaria Evans is one of the so called "99-weekers." After working for the state for many years, she opted to change careers and go into the private sector.

In 2009, Evans was laid off. "I worked from February the 19th until April the 24th, and on April 24th I was laid off."

Starting in 2010, Evans decided to apply for state unemployment finding herself at the Win Job Center in Jackson.

Once her state unemployment ran out, she was eligible for the federal emergency benefits and another 73 weeks of unemployment insurance.

Evans now finds herself just 5 weeks away from the benefits running out and she still hasn't landed employment.

"In 2007, I bought a brand new house, my dream, and I'm worried."

Evans is one of 87,000 Mississippians expected to lose benefits.

A report from the White House Council of Economic Advisors estimates this could mean 7,700 jobs lost in the state by the end of next year.

To help Mississippians on track again, MDES, at a press conference on Thursday, announced they are partnering with Digital Opportunity Trust USA.  

They are a non-profit company setting up shop at 17 of the 55 Win Job Centers across the state to help people find jobs that aren't technologically savvy.

"Twenty years ago, we didn't think about needing a computer to apply for a job or even a digital resume," said Executive Director Nuria Arias.

Evans said her hope is to find a job with the state before Christmas. "That's my hope. If I can get back to the state to never leave again."

Meantime, MDES said they have helped employ almost 28,000 Mississippians since 2010.

Currently, they say they have around 9,200 open jobs in their data base.

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