SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - By the end of summer, the number of people who've lost their unemployment benefits is expected to reach 500,000.
States like Missouri and Illinois have already cut their extended benefits programs.
The extended benefits program is directly correlated to the state's unemployment rate. If the average rate over a three month time isn't 10 percent higher than that time over the past three years, the state doesn't qualify for the federally funded program anymore.
More cuts to the unemployment benefits program are expected this summer, but job seekers say it's something they can't afford.
"It's been hard, I've been checking around, Sikeston, Cape, Dexter, surrounding areas, it's hard to get a job," said job seeker Edward Freeland Jr.
Freeland is just one of the many people looking for a job, and said it's been a difficult search.
"They're trying to hire at a low rate, or they're not trying to hire because they're scared to put themself in anymore debt," said Freeland.
When discussing the end to unemployment benefits, Freeland, like many job seekers, said he doesn't like the proposal.
"They should continue to do it, help us Americans out 'til we get back on our feet," said Freeman.
"I think that it would effect many people in this economy with the shape that it's in that have unemployment benefits," said James Wallace.
Wallace has friends and family looking for jobs, and agrees, saying people need that benefit money to get through the time without employment.
"Yeah I've heard many people tell me that it's a struggle and that it's hard to get through and get another job after they get fired, or they've been let go or something," said Wallace.
"In this job market there's a lot of people looking for jobs, and employers can be very, very selective," said Eugene Myracle.
Myracle is the Functional Leader at the Sikeston Missouri Career Center. He has a couple tips for job seekers.
"You need to separate yourself from the other 20 people behind you that are getting ready to interview for the same job," said Myracle.
Myracle said don't be a job hopper. He said potential employers want to see a good work history, so he said it's important to show you can hold a job, any job, for an extended time.
"Unfortunately you need to take what job you can, to get back, to have some employment record on your history," said Myracle.
He said try looking for a job, not a life career.
"Of course we hope everyone has the perfect job, but please don't hold out for the perfect job in this economy," said Myracle.
"We can't be choosy, if there's a job opening, take it, if not you know you're just throwing it away," said Freeland. "That next job could be the opportunity for you."