Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced
that Connecticut is receiving more than $58 million in federal stimulus
funds to help pay for unemployment benefits for thousands of residents who
have lost their jobs during the current recession.
“Until this economy begins to strengthen,
we must support our unemployed residents and this federal payment will help
us to bolster the state’s unemployment fund,” Governor Rell said. “Thousands
of families have lost a paycheck over the past year and these unemployment
benefits are essential for their economic stability.”
In the past year, more than 65,000 jobs
have been lost in Connecticut, sending the unemployment rate to 7.9 percent,
one point below the national rate and the highest since 1977.
The Governor said Connecticut qualified
for the funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)
by enacting legislation that allows a worker to qualify for unemployment
benefits if he or she left a job to relocate to a spouse’s new place of
Under the ARRA, Connecticut was eligible
to receive a total of $87 million for the state’s Unemployment Trust Fund.
This past April, the state received a third of these federal funds – $29.3
million – and was notified that Connecticut could qualify for the additional
$58.6 million by enacting the “trailing spouse” provision. The Governor said
the state has now been notified by the U.S. Employment and Training
Administration that the $58.6 million will be transferred into the state’s
Unemployment Trust Fund.
In recent months, Connecticut has been
issuing more than $100 million a month in unemployment benefits. According
to the Connecticut Department of Labor, nearly 150,000 residents are
unemployed and the number of first-time filers for jobless benefits has
increased by approximately 45 percent over this time last year.
“Although Connecticut’s unemployment rate
is still lower than the national rate, the challenges that face our
residents as they seek new employment are very real,” Governor Rell said.
“These funds will provide a welcome boost to our state’s unemployment fund,
and more importantly, to those who are struggling to support their families
while looking for work.”
information on the ARRA funding and programs in Connecticut visit the
state’s official stimulus Web site at
and click on the CT Recovery link.