Rep. Kind: We need unemployment insurance benefit extension - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Rep. Kind: We need unemployment insurance benefit extension

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Rep. Ron Kind, (D) WI 3rd Congressional District, is making a push to extend federal unemployment insurance benefits.

Thursday he visited the La Crosse County Job Center to explain how the benefits help people who are actively looking for a job.

Kind also said when people use the benefits, they often help the local economy. For example, people use the money to buy groceries, pay bills and fill their cars with gas to go to a job interview.

"Hiring hasn't picked up to the extent (it should have). We're seeing some indications later this year the economy could pick up some steam, which could lead to further job growth," Kind said. "That's why we're asking for another short-term extension of these unemployment benefits, to give the economy a little more time to get there."

A little more than one million Americans federal unemployment benefits Dec. 31 after a budget deal reached by Congress.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development estimates 300 people in La Crosse County lost their benefits.

"A lot of the jobs that are happening now, the employers are finding a lack of skills to fill those needs," Kind said. "So we have to do a better job of partnering with job centers like this, with technical schools in the area, with the private sector, to find out what their needs are and what we can do to upgrade those job skills. "

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