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Jersey will be hit hardest if unemployment benefits expire Saturday

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One group of people will be hit hardest if federal unemployment benefits expire on Saturday: New Jerseyans.

Of the 1.3 million scheduled to lose benefits, 90,300 are in the Garden State, according to an interactive map produced by democratic leaders on the House Ways and Means Committee.

It may be a statistical anomaly as benefits in different states end at different times; this week, however, New Jersey tops the nation based on percentage of the state's population. The 90,300 represents roughly one percent of the roughly 9 million residents in New Jersey.

An additional 89,100 New Jerseyans are scheduled to lose benefits in the first six months of 2014, according to the interactive map.

The residents who will be impacted by this are those who have been out of work for more than six months as long-term or extended unemployment benefits were not included in the bipartisan budget compromise that was signed earlier in December.

The issue is expected to be taken up when Congress returns in January. Until then, a lot of people in the area will lose a steady check.

Nearby New York doesn't fare much better, with 127,100 people scheduled to lose benefits on Saturday; 73,330 will be dropped in Pennsylvania. Only 23,997 are scheduled to be dropped in Connecticut.

California (with 213,793 losing benefits) leads the list — but that is just a small percentage of the state's more than 38 million residents.

The Dakotas are at the bottom of the list. Only 200 people in South Dakota will lose benefits, with just 300 in North Dakota on the list. Of course, both states have an unemployment rate of under 4 percent.

Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com

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