By The Associated Press

Extended federal unemployment insurance ending

CHICAGO — The Illinois Department of Employment Security says a federal program that provided unemployment insurance beyond the state's initial 25-week coverage will expire Dec. 29.

The Emergency Unemployment Compensation program was extended earlier this year by Congress. But the extension included a provision to end the program later this month.

The program has provided long-term unemployed people with benefits for 20 weeks beyond the state program financed by Illinois businesses. The program had been in effect under both President Barack Obama and President George Bush in response to high unemployment driven by the recession and economic slowdown of several years ago.

Illinois unemployment remained at 8.8 percent in October. That was almost a percentage point higher than the 7.9 percent national rate. The November rate will be released later this month.

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