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Archive for the ‘unemployment’ Category

Steven Kroll, managing director at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co., talks about the U.S. deficit and economy. Kroll also speaks about the tax-cut agreement President Obama reached with Republicans, the performance of U.S. stock and bond markets, and his investment strategy. He talks with Matt Miller and Carol Massar on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.” Dan Deming of Stutland Equities LLC also speaks. (Source: Bloomberg)

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According to the U.S Department of Labor, the amount of U.S. workers filing new applications for unemployment benefits fell last week, continuing a downward trend. The week of April 17, 2010, the initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 24,000 to a total of 456,000 workers filing for new unemployment benefits. Some analysts expected claims to drop to 484,000 to 455,000. Almost 4.6 million people during the week of April 10, received unemployment benefits. This number is a result of an initial 40,000 drop in applications.

 For more information, visit http://www.dol.gov/ and let NSSEA know your thoughts!

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By Gene Schulist, School-Pak, Inc.

The unemployment rate in the United States is reaching a crisis point for states.

Thirty-two states have now gone to the federal government for low cost loans to meet the expanding benefits to unemployed workers. At one time the program provided for 26 weeks of coverage so that people could remain somewhat on their feet while they pursued other jobs.

That since has been extended a number of times and is now over 90 weeks. Close to 2 years that a worker can collect.

But with companies downsizing or closing, where does the money come from? Here’s a quick re-cap of what Wisconsin is dealing with.

Currently, the maximum weekly benefit is $363. This comes out to $18,876 per year. Not a great amount of money but what becomes the break-even point to get a job?

Assuming a low 20% income tax rate, plus 7.5% towards social security, the annual pay would have to be approximately $25,000, which is about $12.50 per hour. Again, not a great amount of money but a lot of jobs are offering only $10-$12 per hour, not an incentive to get off of unemployment. Why be gone from the house for 40 hours a week just to break even and still not have health insurance?

So Wisconsin, like the other states, keeps borrowing money from the federal government (whose money is magically made and doesn’t come from tax payers). At the current rate of borrowing, Wisconsin faces an interest payment of between $70 and $80 million dollars.

So what’s the next choice? Raise the unemployment insurance tax on employers. My question is why we pay it at all. Your company doesn’t benefit from the insurance, only the employees.

I realize that working employees are having a hard time meeting their monthly bills on reduced wages and higher health insurance costs. And as companies close or downsize, there is more of a strain on companies that are in business to pick up the slack. But how much of that ends up with more companies downsizing or closing?

 How much more can we afford? Shouldn’t some of this be paid by the employee? Just wondering.

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