Turning the Unemployment Program into a Reemployment Program

Two months ago, the President signed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.  That legislation extended the vital payroll tax cut and federal unemployment insurance programs that have been so crucial for American families and to the continued and sustained economic recovery.   But it also included several important reforms to the Unemployment Insurance system that didn’t grab the headlines the day it passed.

The Obama Administration is committed to finding new and innovative ways to turn the unemployment system into a reemployment system.  States, as laboratories of democracy, can play a crucial role in developing creative strategies that help us accomplish this goal in ways that may inform the policies of other states and the federal government in the future.   

Today, I had the privilege to announce guidance to states interested in developing demonstration projects to help their unemployed obtain jobs faster and more efficiently.   These demonstrations are a key component in the first major overhaul of the Unemployment Insurance system in decades. 

Through this initiative, 10 states will have the opportunity to develop new and creative ways to help recipients of UI funds get back to work faster.  These states will design programs that help the unemployed get back to work, while lowering costs and ensuring that all participants receive the same worker protections.  This will create a level playing field for employers who follow the rules and have their employees’ welfare in mind.

The Labor Department is preparing to announce more guidance in the coming months that further improve the functionality of the UI system.  These reforms will provide states with more flexibility to respond to changes in the economy, provide employers tools to avoid layoffs, help the unemployed get back into the workforce faster and even expand opportunities for the unemployed to start their own businesses.

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Comments (7)

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  1. Bessie Smith says:

    The PRESIDENT is moving in the wrong direction for Americans that went back to college to upgrade their education for the New JOB Market. He is taking from one “pot” to make way for another! It is WRONG…I am an African American woman and I went back to college at age 56 to finish getting my college degree, now I just learned that though I have only two semesters to go to graduation, I may not be able to because the Presidnet “signed” a bill which cuts the number of Federal Pell Grants semesters for a Bachelors’ degree down from 18 to 12 … or something to that effect. I will find out for sure …but on the surface IT DOES NOT LOOK GOOD FOR many of us.

    I feel that the President is wrong for signing a bill that will affect current college student’s course of study in which they are currently receiving the Federal Pell Grant, and began their undergraduate degrees on or after July 1, 2008.
    The new bill or law he signed which will take effect on July 1, 2012 should be put in place for NEW students entering college on or after that effective date, NOT those that are already in their course of study and are near graduation.
    The President will make it difficult or impossible for college student currently in a program of study with only two – four semesters remaining to finish and graduate.
    I would greatly appreciate it if someone can tell me how I can file an appeal for the Federal Pell Grant, Department of Education to award to me for the entire 18 semesters as determined by the July 1, 2008 regulations.

  2. V says:

    What do I do now, that my Unemployment Benefits have been exhausted? I’ve been collecting Unemployment Benefits for almost two years and looking for jobs and I have not gotten any offers yet and I also need medical attention.

  3. John M Walsh says:

    Please consider a strategy that is used in Germany. Don’t lay employees off, cut everyone’s hours and supplement wages with unemployment insurance. Then when business picks up it will be less costly to ramp up.

  4. Gregg Stoerrle says:

    What 10 states are receving this ? Can DOL help me find a job with whistleblower on my record? I think it’s the least you can do for me Ms Solis after how DOL did not protect my rights under 11(c).
    I don’t mean to pressure you Ms Solis but i am on the verge of losing my home here and i have two children ages 6 and 8 so a job would really help me in saving our home.
    Gregg S

  5. Gregg Stoerrle says:

    Ms Solis is it possible that you could have someone from DOL contact me in reguards to starting my own buiseness?The story above states expanding opprotunites for the unemployed starting a buisness. I have a great idea on a buisness and have the assitance in my family on running a buisness for they did have there own manufacturering buisness.
    I would be greatful for DOL assistance on this.
    Thank you
    Gregg Stoerrle

  6. Cora Nevil says:

    I think it’s a good thing, it will help put individuals back to work.
    The Unemployment Security Department can use some upgrading.

  7. Unemployment is great curse for a nation. This is a good step to re-employment the unemployment. Very positive. Hope for the best.

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