The state's 836,000 unemployed workers are in for more bad news: Their unemployment benefits are going to start running out sooner.
State officials said this week that 20 weeks of federal extended unemployment benefits are to start disappearing next month. That's on top of three weeks of state unemployment benefits that evaporated in January for newly unemployed workers.
Bottom line: The meager check for the state's unemployed — $275 a week — is going to have to stretch further.
The change is more the result of policy decisions in Washington and Tallahassee than a reflection of the state's improved economic scenario.
"It's not fair to characterize it as an indicator of an improved economy," said Maurice Emsellem, policy co-director of the National Employment Law Project. "It's just an indicator that the economy hasn't gotten worse."