Unemployment benefits await approval

Legislators must OK bill in order for benefits to continue for another year.
Melissa Topey
Dec 11, 2013


In just 17 days, thousands of Ohioans will lose their unemployment benefits unless senators approve a bill that would extend them for another year.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and 31 other senators are urging legislators to approve the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2013, which would extend payments through Jan. 1, 2015.

About 128,000 Ohioans and 1.3 million Americans stand to lose their benefits on Dec. 28.

Unemployment benefits
• 790,000: Ohioans receiving unemployment benefits from 2008-13.
• $318: Average weekly unemployment benefit in Ohio.
• $413: Maximum weekly unemployment benefit in Ohio.

Source: U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio

“We must do everything we can to support those who are still struggling following the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression,” Brown said. “These are hardworking Americans, many with children, who have fallen on tough times. If we don’t extend emergency unemployment insurance, more than 128,000 Ohioans would lose their benefits and the ability to supporttheir families”

The job market has turned around for many people, said Stephanie Kowal, director of Ottawa County Job and Family Services, and for those who remain unemployed, their skill sets may simply not match what employers are looking for.

“It would be nice for them to have financial security while they get a new skill set” Kowal said.

Whatever elected leaders decide, Kowal hopes the decision comes soon.

“I hope whatever they do is timely enough for people to do something” she said. “This happened before and it was confusing for people. It led to people wondering, ‘Do I have benefits? What do I do?’”

Karen Balconi Ghezzi, director of Erie County Job and Family Services, wonders if the extension is even necessary, given that some local businesses have jobs that are not being filled.

She pointed to a job ad her agency posted, advertising for a telephone operator. Her agency received 104 applications for the job, ultimately trimming it down to five finalists.

“You would think when you get called for a second interview you would return the call,” Balconi Ghezzi said. “I’ve seen this before. We called back five people and three did not call back.

“I’m not in favor of seeing the unemployment benefits extended” she said. “If there’s a real impediment to finding a job, we can see that we take steps toward getting that impediment fixed. It should not become some kind of entitlement, and I am afraid that is what it may become”

Figures from the U.S. Labor Department said in October there were 3.93 million job openings.



Amen Ms. Balconi Ghezzi!!! Finally a Job and Family Services administrator who gets it.


I sure hope Ms. Ghezzi never loses her job and has to rely on unemployment to make ends meet!!!!..You should NEVER feel SO secure in YOUR job that you have the mindset of, "it can never happen to me!"

Ben Crazy

there are several jobs out there poeple think their too good for. These poeple need to loose their benefits !!! I like the fact she wants to trim the fat!

red white and blue

I agree trim the fat but they should also do something about welfare and some people that lie on ssi


Well, let me put it like this...until YOU know how it is to not be able to SECURE a job to pay your bills and Feed your kids, you shouldn't be so quick to judge others!!...A good example for you: my eighteen year old daughter, who has held a steady job since she was 14, has applied at ALL of these jobs that people "think they are too good for," because she isn't happy with her current employer, and she needs a job while she goes through college. NOT ONE of those places has called my daughter in for an interview, and like I said, she's been employed since she was 14 years old, buys her own things, takes care of herself, and is a GOOD employee, always picking up shifts when needed, will do whatever her employer asks of her, even though she hates her job!!....SO, if my 18 year old, with a good work record, can't even get a call back from one of these places that you speak of Ben, what makes you think that someone who lost their factory job to outsourcing and off shoring is going to get a call back from a fast food joint or such??....I have worked administrative jobs, LOTS of times, applications are over looked simply because a person is "over qualified" for the job needing filled!!... Again, if it has never affected you, please don't judge others, just because you feel you have a secure job, you could lose that security tomorrow for all anyone knows!....And the people who screameth so loud for something to be taken away from others will be begging for it themselves!


This coming from a lady that ignores kids at risk even though it is her job to protect them! SMDH! 104 people applied for one job. What does that tell you?


That Obie's "recovery" is nothing more than another lie.


That not nearly enough people applied for the job? I am sure that there is more than 104 people drawing unemployment in Erie County.


Wow, a whopping 318 dollars a week. I guess I can see why ONLY 104 people applied!


Not enough replied to the calls out to candidates from JFS. Though I would speculate that most of the applications were a result of welfare recipients being required to complete so many applications per week.

Ben Crazy

All i am saying is , and i have heard it myself . I dont want that job , i make more on unemployment ! i am sick of paying for these lazy lowlifes!! Arent you?

Erie County Resident

Unemployment WAS suppose to be for 26 weeks, NOT a lifetime career as the clowns in Washington are making it into.
26 weeks NOT 5+ years and still counting.
All the Dems want to do is turn it into another "entitlement" program instead of the safety net it was designed for.
Just doing this to keep their voter base happy.
There are other help programs out there to be used instead of doing this.


I remember when our plant closed, we had 26 weeks to find another job. If we found a lower paying job than our unemployment benefits,we collected the difference between the pay and our benefits. That way our unemployment benefits lasted longer and if they ran out, we still had a job, even though it didn't pay as much as our previous. If you keep extending benefits, why should they look for a job.


To h*ll with unemployment. Just head straight for welfare:



Ben Crazy

Some will!!


I rarely agree with those speaking from public offices (most specifically Erie County) but I agree with Karen. To the people who might say I have never experienced as much so be quiet. True- I was actually homeless in Sandusky for 16months. Slept in the woods and cemeteries so a bit different. I eventually let myself go to rehab and had a job paying $94.5k/yr. I lost that job due to complete indiscretions by Erie County. I was very upset and soon after back on the streets. Ten months later I had a job making $83.5k/yr. It is all about mindset. If you want something, it aint coming on a silver platter. Those stuck in "victim" mode are where they are because of their choices. You want to go live at Crossroads (where 99.9% of the residents are biding time till they can get SSI), wander the streets, and/or make minimum wage? That is your choice. You can not change the past. Accept the challenge. You will feel so much better for doing so in the near future.

Darwin's choice

When you were sleeping in the cemeteries, did you hit your head?

MILLIONS of people out of work...where in the hell are these JOBS you're talking about?

Everyone, Obama is posting on the register as reprudy!!!!!

And balconi/ghezzi is full of crap also. ONE instance of a job posting...yep, that means everyone out of work should be there, at her office, she'd crap herself! I would love to see half the unemployed here show up at the same time to JFS, they would call the cops......


Hahahaha.....Darwin, I thought the EXACT SAME THING!!!.....It would be nice for reprudy to tell us exactly what kind of profession she's in to be making $85,000 a year!!!...lol..and even after they were working a job at $95,000 a year, they still ended up homeless AGAIN for ten months!?!?.....Were you SMOKING that $95,000 a year or what??...Cuz hot dang, if I made THAT much a year, I would have not had a problem finding a place to live for ten months until I found another job paying me $85,000!!!....Nurses and auto workers hardly make half of that, so "she" must have been employed as an exotic dancer or something!!.hahahaha

The Big Dog's back

OK right wingnuts, which is it? Last week you said unemployment figures released by the Gov were a lie, it's much higher. Now you're saying there are plenty of jobs, no need to extend unemployment. You people are rank up there with Pol Pot and Hitler. May God have mercy on your wicked souls.

Erie County Resident

Ok you left whackjobs you keep telling us all about the millions of jobs your savior has created.
So just why does Congress have to extend unemployment if Obozo created all these great jobs you proclaim he made??
You are the new Hitler on pot like you said.
Can't have it both ways using your skewed illogical thinking.

Ben Crazy

fast food places have help wanted signs and the rail road is hireing laborers and clerks. I bet if i didnt work so much i could probably find more. You did ask where jobs are! Theres your answer.


I don't understand why people get so upset with someone who draws unemployment. Drawing unemployment means that person was working, had a job, and lost it through no fault of their own. You can't draw unemployment if you quit your job.

Why aren't you all on here complaining about the "baby mamas" or the perfectly healthy, young people that have been on welfare for years! Why don't you complain that they don't go get those jobs? Why isn't Karen Balconi Ghezzi, director of Erie County Job and Family Services, talking to the Register about all the welfare clients she has that don't want to work? Send THEM out to all those "local businesses have jobs that are not being filled." How hypocritical can you get?


It's obvious you have no clue what you are ranting about.

Darwin's choice

Silly deertracker, she is exactly right! It's time to cut the fat from the generations of welfare receipients, and balconi/ghezzi should get down off the altar she's perched on and get to work. JFS is responsible for the death of the Vermillion child, and ghezzi blames someone else for her failings. It's long past time to take another look at "welfare".