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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [05/19/2010]
Contact Name: Michael Trupo
Phone Number: (202) 693-3414
Release Number: 10-0703-DAL

US Labor Department announces $26 million in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds to New Mexico

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today certified for release $26,015,055 in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds to the state of New Mexico. New Mexico qualified for the remaining two-thirds of its share of the funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by allowing certain part-time workers to claim UI benefits and by providing dependents' allowances for all UI beneficiaries.

"New Mexico's UI program recognizes the needs of the 21st century workforce by extending benefits to part-time workers who were formerly ineligible to apply," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Workers with families, too, will benefit as they receive additional compensation based on the number of dependents they have."

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions can use funds announced today to pay unemployment benefits. Funds may also be used to administer the state's unemployment insurance program or deliver employment services if appropriated by the state's legislature.

"Although we're seeing signs of economic recovery, times are still very tough for displaced New Mexico workers on the front lines of this recession, and we must do everything we can to help them pull through," said Sen. Tom Udall. "This additional funding will allow the state of New Mexico to improve the services it offers to unemployed New Mexicans and — in the process — provide struggling families with the peace of mind and support they need while they work to get a new job."

"Too many families are struggling during these difficult economic times, and we need to keep fighting to get our economy back on track," said Rep. Ben Ray Luján, who represents the state's 3rd District. "I'm encouraged that New Mexico is receiving important assistance that will help families make ends meet at a time when many need it the most."

"In these tough economic times, it's important that we give families across New Mexico the tools they need to get back on their feet while job opportunities continue to grow," said Rep. Harry Teague. "I'm pleased that the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions will be able to utilize this Recovery Act funding to help get people back into the workforce."

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 website at http://www.doleta.gov/recovery . Other approved applications can also be found on this site.