North Carolina's improving unemployment rate means about 18,000 people who now qualify for long-term jobless benefits will no longer qualify next month.
Division of Employment Security spokesman Larry Parker says the state expects the U.S. Labor Department to give notice soon that North Carolina recipients will stop qualifying for the federal unemployment funds in early May.
Parker says those receiving the long-term unemployment benefits will receive letters about two or three weeks before their benefits end.
Parker says the benefits are paid based on a formula that accounts for a high unemployment rate, which dipped below 10 percent in February and March.
The number of jobless workers qualifying for extended benefits is down from about 25,000 in January and 47,000 last June.
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