DFLer Tom Bakk said during a recent news conference that his main priority is jobs and said he was troubled by some recent unemployment figures:
“When you hear me talk about jobs being my he number one priority in my governor’s campaign, I’m speaking from the heart as someone who has personally experienced it. And the fact that 170,000 Minnesotans tomorrow are going to get an unemployment check is painful for me. And further, 500 people tomorrow are going to get their last check. Their last check. And that has happened every week in the month of October. More than 500 people got their last unemployment check.”
Kirsten Morrell, with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says 177,000 Minnesotans collected unemployment benefits in the week ending November 7th. She also said Bakk’s statement that roughly 500 Minnesotans exhaust their unemployment benefits each week has been true. Here are the numbers.
Bakk made his comments on November 5th. Since then, President Obama signed a bill into law that extends unemployment benefits an additional 14 weeks. So, even people who had used up all 79 weeks of benefits and extensions may now qualify for those additional 14 weeks.
Roughly 10,000 people will have their benefits immediately extended.