November 5, 2013 |
A report released Tuesday by the National Employment Law Project blames chronic underfunding by the federal government for problems with states' unemployment insurance programs that include extensive backlogs and outdated, unreliable systems. State unemployment insurance programs, which receive federal funding for administrative costs, were put to the test during the Great Recession, NELP said. Before the recession, about 2.5 million people were collecting unemployment benefits but that figure jumped to 10 million at its peak. NELP found that state unemployment programs use technologies that are 26 years old on average and that most state systems rely on antiquated programming languages.
November 5, 2013 |
Suzanne Dinatale lost her job as sales manager for a biotech company in July. She applied almost immediately for unemployment benefits to help cushion the blow. Dinatale, 41, of Manhattan Beach, said she had no problem receiving the forms she needed to get the ball rolling with California's Employment Development Department. "After that, nothing," she told me. "I called them and got hung up on. I sent emails that got no responses. " Dinatale is now dipping into her retirement savings to get by. "This is the first time I've ever needed unemployment," she said.
July 28, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - In the closing days of the Legislature last year, Gov. Jerry Brown helped forge a compromise on a sweeping overhaul of the workers' compensation insurance system and persuaded Democratic and Republican lawmakers to pass it into law. Now he is taking on another big challenge: He wants to fix the state's financially ailing unemployment insurance program, which pays jobless Californians up to $450 a week. With one of the nation's highest unemployment rates for several years, the state has had to borrow money from the feds to keep the program going.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 19, 2013 |
A new website announced Wednesday that uses state wage data shows California community college students the value of their certificate or degree. The Salary Surfer provides information on median annual incomes for 179 popular programs including health, business, social sciences, architecture, engineering and other disciplines. The intent is to help students make more informed decisions about their education, Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris said in a telephone briefing.
June 12, 2013 |
Patriotism isn't easy. Just ask L.A.'s garment makers. Three years after combining their names to create Venley, a company that produces T-shirts and other basics in a downtown Los Angeles factory, onetime fraternity brothers Nick Ventura and Kevin Gressley find manufacturing clothes in the U.S. to be an expensive and frustrating undertaking. Like many other apparel executives in the U.S., the pair pay more than the minimum wage, Ventura said. Sometimes, the same amount of money Venley shells out for locally made fabric gets Wal-Mart Stores Inc. an entire outfit sewed abroad.
May 17, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Want help from the state getting unemployment benefits? Don't call after noon. Because of federal budget cuts, the California Employment Development Department has told its call center workers not to answer its benefits hotline after lunch. Starting Monday, the thinning band of staffers will be reassigned to other duties from noon to 5 p.m., such as processing claims for benefits and responding to online inquiries. Limiting call center hours was the best of a number of bad choices, department spokeswoman Loree Levy said.