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Unemployment Benefits

September 23, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez and Shan Li
About 80,000 jobless Californians have been cut off from unemployment benefits because of a computer glitch that could take weeks to resolve. The Employment Development Department upgraded its 30-year-old system over Labor Day weekend with the aim of streamlining benefits processing. But the new system malfunctioned, forcing state workers to approve payments manually. That has created a massive backlog snaring 15% of claims filed since Sept. 1. State officials say they're working around the clock, but can't say when they'll catch up. The EDD has apologized on social media and is notifying affected Californians by mail.
September 13, 2013 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I'm 64 and lost my last full-time job a year ago. I have since exhausted my unemployment benefits and been on and off food stamps. (I'm waiting to get back on them right now because my temporary-to-permanent job didn't become permanent after all.) Fortunately I almost never need to go to a doctor, or if I do, I don't know that I do and can't afford to find out. I have about $3,000 in emergency savings, and my IRA is about $15,000. I was fortunate enough to sell a home in Hawaii 20 years ago, but I managed to run through all the money.
July 29, 2013 | By Anthony York
SACRAMENTO -- Now that Gov. Jerry Brown is back from his ancestral tour of Germany and Ireland, his attention is turning to priorities for the closing weeks of the legislative year, which ends Sept. 13. Though many of the governor's major policy initiatives - overhauling the state's education funding system, eliminating enterprise zones and expanding Medi-Cal under the new federal healthcare law - were handled as part of budget negotiations last month, there are still some things on his to-do list.
July 16, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
The good news: California's unemployment rate has fallen from 10.7% in May 2012 to 8.6% a year later. The bad news: The improving economy means that the Department of Labor on Friday may nix the last tier in federal unemployment extension benefits -- the last safety net for the long-term unemployed. State officials said Tuesday that it expects the federal government to scale back unemployment benefits if Friday's job report shows further improvement in the state's labor market.
July 3, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Initial jobless claims dipped to 343,000 last week, slightly better than analyst expectations and a sign that the labor market continues to expand at a moderate pace. The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time was down 5,000 from the previous week's revised level of 348,000, the Labor Department said Wednesday. The figures were released a day early because of the Fourth of July holiday. Quiz: Do U.S. corporations pay too little in taxes?
June 27, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- The government reported more positive signs for the economic recovery Thursday as initial jobless claims dropped last week and consumers' personal income and spending rose in May. The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time fell to 346,000 in the week ending Saturday, down from a revised 355,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said. The drop was in line with analyst projections and brings the figure below the 350,000 level that economists say is consistent with moderate labor market growth.
May 17, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
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.
February 28, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- First-time jobless claims dropped more than expected last week to 344,000 and the number of people collecting unemployment benefits fell to its lowest level since mid 2008, the Labor Department said Thursday. Initial claims for unemployment insurance were down 22,000 for the week ending Saturday, compared to the previous week. Analysts had expected claims to drop only slightly, to 360,000, last week. The less-volatile four-week average was 355,000, down 6,750 from the average as of the previous week.
February 21, 2013 | By Andrew Tangel
First-time claims for unemployment benefits rose by 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 362,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. The larger-than-expected increase followed a drop in claims the previous week, when 342,000 filed initial jobless claims. The Labor Department's less volatile measure of jobless claims, a four-week moving average, was 360,750, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week's revised average of 352,750. Investors will get a stronger read on the labor market on March 8, when the federal government releases its report on unemployment in February.
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