Ga. drop in unemployment reduces benefits

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia's dropping unemployment rate means a cut in federal unemployment benefits for thousands of workers in the state.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that about 15,000 people will lose a final 20 weeks of extended unemployment benefits April 21.

Workers losing their unemployment insurance payments this month have been without jobs the longest. They are drawing checks from the last of 6 layers of state unemployment and federal extensions that can stretch to nearly two years.

Brenda Brown, the unemployment insurance director at the state Department of Labor, says the state's improving unemployment numbers triggered the cut in benefits. She said that Georgia's three-month average unemployment rate from January to March was 9.24%. To keep the last federal extension, it needed to be higher.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.