Alaskans who have exhausted their unemployment benefits will qualify for six additional weeks under the federal “Tier 4” extension. The federal extension already provided 14 extra weeks to all states. But only states with an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent or higher for the months of October, November and December would qualify for a 20 week extension. Tom Nelson, director of the Employment Security Division at the state Department of Labor, says Alaska was able to use a clause that allowed the state to average the unemployment rate for those three months.
Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau
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