We’ve been blogging about Worker Transition Committees and the role they play in helping displaced workers. Transition committees help shorten the time it takes people to find their next job.
As of this writing, Congress is still considering whether to renew the extensions of unemployment benefits beyond the 26 week cutoff. A look at unemployment data shows why this extension is necessary.
Recently, Fox News reported only 48% of those unemployed were still receiving unemployment benefit checks, as compared to 75% at this time last year (http://tinyurl.com/74k7k33).
One factor contributing to this increase is the expiration of extended unemployment benefits from up to 99 weeks to the current 26 weeks. As a result, people will exhaust their benefits faster and fall off the unemployment numbers sooner.
This week, it was reported that Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped 0.5%. While some of this was due to the creation of 5-6,000 new jobs, economists believe most of it came from Ohioans leaving the workforce after 6 or more months of searching for work.
We have heard the spurious argument that extending unemployment benefits encourages people to delay their job search. You have probably heard the apocryphal stories of people who said they were earning more on unemployment than they would if they were working.
According to Fox, the national average unemployment check is $300 per week, or $15,600 per year before taxes. This amount, which is well below the federal poverty level of $22,314 for a family of four, is certainly well below the amount the person would likely make in a full-time job.
Employers need to do everything they can to mitigate the impact of job loss and help employees make a quicker transition to their next careers. A worker transition committee helps both employees and the employer during these difficult situations.
For more information about worker transition committees, contact CALMC.