GREEN BAY - The looming financial situation could be felt here in Northeast Wisconsin, if no deal is reached.
Tens of thousands of Wisconsinites who've had their federal unemployment benefits extended and extended would lose those extended benefits.
At the Job Center in Green Bay, the message is on every computer screen.
"Claims for extended unemployment will come to an end at the end of this month," said Andy Gjesdahl of Green Bay.
For Andy Gjesdahl,
"I've been out of work for about two months now, collecting unemployment," he said.
It's not what he wanted to read.
"Unemployment is the last hope for people that don't have employment. It's what is needed the most," said Gjesdahl.
About 65,000 unemployed people in Wisconsin currently receive benefits for a 26 week period. Out of those, about 40,000 are getting an additional 37 weeks from the federal government. If no deal is reached by the end of the year, that federal extension for those 40,000 people will be gone.
According to the Department of Workforce Development, that's a maximum about $363 a week per person.
"That money is flowing right away, and as that money flows to the economy, of course, you get a lot of dollars for your one dollar spent," said Jim Golembeski, Bay Area Workforce Development executive director.
Experts say that could send the economy into another recession.
"Now when you have fewer jobs available, than people looking for jobs, obviously some people are going to be unemployed for a longer period of time," said Golembeski.
And reductions could lead to another situation.
The Green Bay Job Center is one of 10, serving 11 counties throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The executive director says if we go over that fiscal cliff, there could be cuts to programs.
"Our Job Centers live mostly on federal funding, and if federal funding is significantly reduced, we're not going to be able to keep doors open in as many locations as we do now," said Golembeski.
Jim Golembeski hopes a deal will be reached. Andy Gjesdahl is counting on it.
"We do need to make cuts in government spending, but not at this level," said Gjesdahl.
According to the Department of Workforce Development, federal cuts will not affect the way this state administers its basic benefits.
It's the extended federal benefits beyond 26 weeks that would no longer be paid.
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