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BIG LAKE, Minn. - Long-term federal unemployment benefits expired on Saturday for 1.3 million Americans and 9,200 Minnesotans.

They won't get them back unless Congress acts.

The benefits were started during the recession to help Americans who were out of work. They've been extended 11 times since then, but Congress left Washington for the holidays without voting on another extension.

Kevin Hoglund, of Big Lake, is one of those who is out of work and out of time.

The 50-year-old has had very little to be joyful about since he was laid off from the construction industry in 2009.

"I'd never thought I'd be in this position at my age. I thought I did everything best I could. I've always had jobs."

Hoglund, who now lives with his son's family, went back to school and got an accounting degree. But for three years he's been told he's either under-qualified or over-qualified for the steady work he needs.

"I sent out approximately 450 resumes got 23 interviews out of those 23 interviews, zero jobs and it's difficult," Hoglund said.

He's taken temporary jobs, done people's taxes, but mostly he has relied on unemployment for income, $170 a week, and now that's gone too.

"I try to stay positive."

Hoglund said he never thought he'd be unemployed and he'll never judge anyone who is.

"I don't think we've seen the worst of the economy yet. There's going to be a bigger gap between poverty and making it."

His car is really his only possession. His son rents their home but, "The landlord has been gracious enough for the past three years to work with us and our situations. Our rent has been ridiculously low, lower than we can afford an apartment for, and we're fortunate that he's done that. But come this March, he has to increase the income. He has to cover his bills."

With no money anymore to contribute to rent, Hoglund and his son's family may need to move.

Hoglund's not sure where he'll be in a few months,

"I have to figure something out from there," he said.

Without the extended unemployment benefits, Hoglund said he now has no income until he can reapply in mid-May.

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