Long term jobless benefits will stop for thousands of Alabamians

Some jobless benefits are set to expire Saturday for about 11,400 Alabama residents, after Congress failed to extend federal aid for the long-term unemployed. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation program began in 2008 during the recession to supplement state benefits. The benefits were targeted for places with high unemployment.

President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress have called for another extension before the benefits expire at the end of the year. But, congress left for its holiday break without taking action.

Alabama's unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in November. But some counties have double-digit unemployment, including Wilcox County at 13.9 percent, Bullock County at 11.9 percent, and Perry and Dallas counties at 11.1 percent.