Fri. 7:28pm: Many Ohioans to see federal jobless benefits cut

CINCINNATI (AP) – Thousands of Ohioans will see their federal emergency unemployment compensation go down by about 16 percent because of automatic budget cuts.

State officials say the reductions go into effect beginning Sunday in Ohio. That means the average weekly compensation of roughly $300 will drop by about $50 for some Ohioans. Those affected include residents just entering the federal benefits program and those moving to a new tier within the program.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services can’t determine exactly how many people will be affected. But a department spokesman says about 37,000 Ohioans now receive the federal benefits available after state unemployment compensation is exhausted.

Also beginning Sunday, Ohioans who are eligible could get nine extra weeks of the federal compensation.

The number of employed workers in the Trumbull and Mahoning counties dropped slightly in March to 192,800 when compared to the 192,900 employed a year ago. The size of the local civilian labor force also dropped to 210,200 to 210,600.

Both counties also reported slight improvement over the jobless numbers from February.