AUGUSTA — More than 17,000 unemployment recipients in Maine could be cut off in the weeks and months ahead as federal emergency extended-benefits programs come to an end.

Maine Labor Commissioner Robert Winglass says the state is preparing for expiration of the programs, which provide additional weeks of jobless benefits to workers who exhaust regular state unemployment benefits without finding new employment.

Winglass says the Labor Department’s Career Centers are adding workshops and increasing outreach to unemployment recipients. Each center will double up on job search seminars and resume workshops to help people find new jobs.

The state unemployment program provides up to 26 weeks of benefits.

The last week for jobless benefits under the extended benefits program is the week ending Jan. 14.

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