Unemployment cuts to affect thousands locally - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Unemployment cuts to affect thousands locally, millions nationwide

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A government report says, in our region, nearly 40-thousand Ohioans will lose their benefits on December 28th, along with nearly 20,000 in Kentucky and about 6,300 in West Virginia.

That is because Congress has decided to bring down the number of weeks a person can draw unemployment to pre-recession levels.

We have covered the exodus of the coal industry which has cost thousands of jobs.

We have done stories on the hundreds of layoffs out of local hospitals.

We know many of our viewers and readers draw unemployment.

Benefits were extended from 23 weeks up to 63 weeks, in some states, to help blunt the effects of the 2008 financial collapse.

The abrupt change back to 23, or lower in some states, doesn't sit well with Marquis Lewis of Huntington, who says unemployment has helped his family in the past.

"It's hard to explain when you don't have any money," says Lewis. "It makes people do some strange things just to get some change out here. It's not a game."

It wasn't a game for Alphonso Scott of Chesapeake, Ohio, who says, a few years ago, he lost his job through no fault of his own.

"I worked at Creation Technologies. We did a lot for Toyota, parts and things for them," says Scott. "We got laid off because, they had a recall and Toyota sort of went down a little bit then."

Employed now, and moving forward, Scott says he's pulling for those who have not yet landed on their feet.

"All I can say is do the best you can, pray to the lord, and ask him for guidance and everything should be okay. It's all you can do. Do what you can do."