CHICAGO
03/30/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Unemployment Money To Increase For Illinois' Jobless

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- As jobless rates climb toward record highs, Illinois residents looking for work will see an extra $25 a week in unemployment benefits.

The bump begins next week and comes from the federal stimulus package.

The program guarantees the extra money to any resident collecting unemployment checks through the end of the year or until their benefits run out.

Illinois' unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in December, similar to national statistics which show unemployment rates at a 16-year high.

Unemployment is expected to climb again in January.

The extra money will be added to benefits paid out on debit cards or direct deposit accounts every two weeks.