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Unemployment payments drop by more than half
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MADISON (AP) - Business-friendly changes to Wisconsin's unemployment pay system have helped erase a $1.3 billion deficit in the state fund that supports it, but critics say they have also wrongfully deprived out-of-work people of money they needed while looking for new jobs. After the Great Recession, many states had diminished or insolvent unemployment insurance trust funds, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Wisconsin trust fund used to pay unemployment had a $1.3 billion deficit in 2010, and the state paid out nearly that amount in claims that year, according to Department of Workforce Development data.