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Maine Residents Must Register With Job Bank for Unemployment

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine labor officials are giving more than 2,200 people until next week to join the Maine Job Bank in order to continue getting unemployment benefits.

The Sun Journal reports that the change coincides with a $1.9 million unemployment computer system upgrade that prompts residents to register for the job bank as they file an unemployment claim. Department of Labor spokeswoman Julie Rabinowitz says the current system "doesn't force you to finish'' registering with the job bank.

The change is expected to go into effect around Feb. 5. The blizzard shutting down state government on Tuesday pushed back the original date of Jan. 29.

More than 18,000 people in Maine receive unemployment benefits and the vast majority of them are connected with the job bank.