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Loss of Long-term Unemployment Benefits Projected to Hit Illinois Hard

Stateline area also expected to be hit disproportionately by ending of benefits over the weekend.
WTVO/WQRF -- A 'Washington Post' analysis of where the expiration of long-term unemployment benefits will hit the hardest puts Illinois and the Stateline area near the top of the list.

The newspaper released a state-by-state map of how states will be impacted.  New Jersey takes the biggest hit according to Labor Department figures.  You can see the Post's map and full article here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/12/26/where-the-1-3-million-people-losing-unemployment-aid-this-week-live/

1.3 million people will lose long-term unemployment benefits over the weekend.  While those benefits were always meant to be temporary and have been extended 11 times during the Great Recession, they were not part of the budget deal brokered with Democrats by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R) WI-1. 

The argument against extending them is that the employment situation nationwide has improved to the point where they can no longer be justified, especially at a time when the U.S. government accumulating record amounts of debt.

The argument for extending them is that the recovery has been very uneven, with some states doing exceptionally well while others are doing particularly badly.  Illinois falls into that latter category,  with a state unemployment rate nearly two full points higher than the national average and pockets like Rockford where the unemployment rate has remained above 12%.  A county by county analysis by the Post showed both Winnebago and Stephenson counties feeling significant impact from the change.
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