In this Sept. 2, 2020, file photo, shoppers pass by a former Clark's shoe store that is now one of several vacant retail spaces among the outlet shops in Freeport, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

The Maine Department of Labor said Thursday that a program extending unemployment benefits for up to 13 weeks will likely end in mid-November.

The extended benefits program, which started in May, is a state program for those who exhausted both their state unemployment insurance and the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. The state program complemented federal benefits established as part of a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill in March.

It is only in effect during times of high unemployment, and begins when the 13-week average insured unemployment rate is 5 percent or higher and when that rate is 120 percent more than the average for the last two years for the same period. The unemployment rate in Maine fell by 0.9 percent in September to 6.1 percent compared to 7 percent in August.

When the program ends, those who had received extended benefits and are still eligible for unemployment will be moved to another program, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Those on unemployment also saw a $600 per week extra federal benefit dry up at the end of July. Lawmakers in Washington had debated what, if any, additional extra pay to dole out to workers in a new stimulus plan that has not materialized before the election.

Lori Valigra, senior reporter for economy and business, holds an M.S. in journalism from Boston University. She was a Knight journalism fellow at M.I.T. and has extensive international reporting experience...