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Published December 02, 2010, 08:52 PM

Small Number of ND Unemployed Affected By Federal Benefits Extension Fight

Federal unemployment benefits for 2 million Americans are running out this month while Congress debates whether those benefits should continue. Whatever the outcome, it will not have a big impact on those without jobs in North Dakota.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

Federal unemployment benefits for 2 million Americans are running out this month while Congress debates whether those benefits should continue. Whatever the outcome, it will not have a big impact on those without jobs in North Dakota.

The North Dakota Job Service office in Grand Forks says the local unemployment rate is very low, and most people don't need a federal extension.

Low unemployment around the region is the reason why only a small number of North Dakotans will be affected if the federal unemployment benefit extension ends this month. 500 North Dakotans compared to 2 million nationwide.

"Goes to show the strength of the North Dakota economy and our low employment rate. Since April of 2009 we have been the lowest unemployment rate in the county," Keith Reitmeier with the North Dakota Job Service said.

Reitmeier says the Job Service will work with those who could lose the extension. He says there are jobs in North Dakota out there for most of them.

"People that exhaust their claims will probably be a little more willing to except a position at lower pay and actually it's quite common and we are seeing more of the happen," Reitmeier said.

Reitmeier says most people on unemployment in the state find a job within the North Dakota's unemployment claim's time of 12 to 26 weeks and do not need an extension.

Reitmeier says in the last year North Dakota has added 5,700 jobs. 500 of them were right here in Grand Forks.

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