(AP) - The state Department of Labor says long-term unemployment benefits in Idaho will expire after Dec. 31, though some jobless workers will be cut off sooner depending on when they started receiving the federal assistance. Agency spokesman Bob Fick says the jobless benefits are being scaled back because Idaho's jobless rate is improving and a new federal law is phasing out emergency assistance for long-term unemployed workers. Regular unemployment benefits last up to 26 weeks and are paid by the state. But two long-term benefit programs are funded by the federal government, and are triggered on and off by Idaho's unemployment rate. In total, Fick says the maximum weeks of unemployment benefits in Idaho will drop from 99 weeks to 39 weeks. The state estimates 300 jobless Idaho workers are transitioning each week from regular unemployment benefits to federally funded extended  benefits.