MARION, IL (KFVS) - As of last Friday, over 1 million Americans who have been relying on their long-term unemployment benefits for income have been cut off, making it difficult for families to make ends meet.
The state of Illinois has one of the highest jobless rates at 8.7 percent.
Experts say the cutoff of long term unemployment benefits will be felt by a lot of families especially those in southern Illinois.
Unemployment offices say they're already seeing the effects from those losing their benefits, but say it can be turned into a positive motivator.
Monday saw a full parking lot outside Marion's priority staffing group as thousands of families across Illinois find their backs against the wall after losing out on their jobless benefits.
"You're going to have to start somewhere."
Gail Lannom with the agency said there's no better time to come in and begin the hiring process.
"I'm sitting here this morning and I can look and we have at least 25 job openings right now," she said.
But it's the reality that these jobs don't pay what some are used to that keeps many on their unemployment benefits for so long.
However, Lannon said it's your resumes that take a hit in the long run.
"Work history is a big deal whenever you are looking, so if you can get into a position and stand in a position for a couple of years that is going to help you a whole lot better than drawing unemployment for a couple of years," Lannon said.
Which is why Heather Thompson wasted no time in looking for a job after losing her job back in August. Resume after resume, she said she's not giving up and hopes the staffing agency will help.
"It wasn't bad at first, but bills are catching up, the reserve has run out and I've got to find something," she said.
Once a medical assistant, she's expecting a pay cut.
"Money is money, if it is coming in, you take it," Thompson said.
Priority Staffing Group provides temporary-temp-to-hire and full time jobs.
From clerical to manufacturing and distributing, they say they place over 20 candidates each week.