RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A program that provided extended unemployment benefits to out-of-work Virginians will end Saturday.

The Virginia Employment Commission on Wednesday announced the end of the state’s Extended Benefits program. The federally-funded program provided up to an addition 13 weeks of help to people who had already exhausted their regular benefits and any Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.

It is ending because employment in Virginia has improved and no longer meets a federal threshold for the program to be funded. It could restart in the future.

”Your weeks may get cut short because of this, VEC spokeswoman Joyce Fogg told TV station WWBT. “We were expecting it to be maybe December but our rate has gone down faster,” she said.

Fogg didn’t respond to a question from The Associated Press about the number of Virginians receiving extended benefits. Labor Department data released Thursday showed over 16,000 extended benefits claims were filed during the week ending Oct. 31.

The data also showed 14,089 initial unemployment claims were filed in Virginia last week, up by several thousand from the week before.

Nationally, the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose last week to 742,000, the first increase in five weeks.

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