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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [06/30/2009]
Contact Name: Jennifer Kaplan
Phone Number: (202) 693-5052 or x4676
Release Number: 09-0771-DAL

U.S. Labor Department announces release of more than $13 million in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds to New Mexico

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today certified for release $13,007,527 in unemployment insurance (UI) modernization incentive funds to the state of New Mexico. New Mexico qualified for a portion of its share of the funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) by allowing workers to use their more recent earnings to qualify for benefits.

"By using recent wages when determining eligibility for benefits, New Mexico's UI program is recognizing the needs of the 21st century workforce," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "New Mexico's law is especially helpful to unemployed workers who are recent entrants to the workforce and who might not otherwise qualify for benefits."

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions can use the funds to pay unemployment benefits or, if appropriated by the legislature, for administering its unemployment insurance program or delivering employment services.

The Recovery Act made a total of $7 billion available in UI modernization incentive payments to states that include certain eligibility provisions in their UI programs. Each state can qualify for a share of those funds by showing that its law includes those provisions. New Mexico's approved application will be posted at the department's Employment and Training Administration Web site at http://www.doleta.gov/recovery/. Other approved applications can also be found on this site.