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Federal government rejects Missouri's request for extra unemployment funds


Jefferson City, Mo. – Federal officials have rejected Missouri's request for $133 million in federal stimulus dollars to boost unemployment benefits.

The federal stimulus includes $7 billion for states to expand eligibility for unemployment benefits. The eligibility expansion must be permanent and in effect before stimulus money can be awarded.

Earlier this year, Missouri lawmakers expanded eligibility for jobless benefits to those leaving jobs for family various reasons.

But the state expansion only would have kicked in after the U.S. Department of Labor approved the additional stimulus money.

Figures released Tuesday show Missouri's unemployment rate held steady last month at 9.3 percent while job losses slowed from previous months.