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Unemployment Insurance

April 19, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - A rescue effort is underway for the state's financially troubled unemployment insurance program, an economic lifeline that currently provides weekly monetary support for 525,000 jobless Californians. More than $10 billion in the red, the unemployment insurance fund has been spiraling toward bankruptcy in recent years, even as it continues to provide weekly jobless benefits of as much as $450 for job seekers. Video chat: Sequester to hit jobless benefits Unemployment, as it's best known, is a primary element of the state's economic safety net. Funded by employer taxes, it's been providing jobless benefits since 1935.
April 18, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- Much-dreaded automatic federal budget cuts are about to be felt by more than 400,000 long-term unemployed in California. The California Employment Development Department, which administers both state and federal unemployment insurance programs, will be cutting the federal portion by approximately 17.7% beginning April 28. LIVE VIDEO CHAT: Join us at 2 p.m. That represents a tiny share of the $85-billion reduction in...
January 10, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- New jobless claims increased slightly again last week, though remained consistent with moderate job growth in another indication of the slow recovery in the labor market. The number of people filing for first-time unemployment benefits in the week ending Saturday rose to 371,000 from a revised 367,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the fourth straight weekly increase. The rise surprised analysts, who had expected jobless claims to drop to about 365,000.
December 17, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Some former temporary workers from Amazon's warehouses in Pennsylvania are having a hard time, the Lehigh Valley's newspaper the Morning Call reports . Those who have filed for unemployment benefits -- sums of $100 to $200 per week -- often find their claims challenged. If approved, they are often challenged again. These workers, with few resources, face delays in receiving unemployment compensation. Those who aren't capable of navigating the official steps required to fight the challenges may never receive unemployment.
November 15, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Initial jobless claims surged last week to a their highest level in more than a year and a half, probably in part because of the effects of Superstorm Sandy. The number of new people filing for unemployment benefits jumped to 439,000 in the week ending Saturday, up from the previous week's revised figure of 361,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the first time in more than a year that the number of initial claims topped 400,000, and marked the highest level since April 2011.
April 25, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- Close to 100,000 jobless Californians will lose as many as 20 weeks of federal unemployment insurance benefits in three weeks, state officials warned. The extra benefits of as much as $450 a week are part of a federal extension to the regular state program known in bureaucratic parlance as FED-ED. The federal government instituted FED-ED in March 2009 to help the long-term unemployed in California during the worst recession in 50 years. But that assistance, the fifth such extension of benefits, is set to expire on after May 12 because of improvements in the Golden State's economy and a drop in the unemployment rate to 11% in March.
December 23, 2011 | By Peter Nicholas, Washington Bureau
President Obama's success in getting congressional Republicans to renew a payroll tax cut flowed from a strategy the White House has employed since the summer: Bypass Congress and marshal the political power of middle-class voters fed up with Washington gridlock. The standoff with House Republican leaders formally ended Friday, when Obama signed a bill that extends for two months a Social Security tax cut for employees and unemployment insurance benefits that had been jeopardized by a weeklong impasse.
December 7, 2011 | By Peter Dreier
Thousands of long-term unemployed Americans from across the country have converged on Washington this week to dramatize their plight and to urge Congress to extend federal unemployment insurance benefits and the payroll tax cut, and to pass President Obama's jobs bill. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13.3 million Americans are unemployed. Nearly half have been jobless for more than six months — a record. If you add workers who are so discouraged that they've given up looking for work, and people who are underemployed (working part time but who want full-time jobs)
December 2, 2011 | By Lisa Mascaro, Los Angeles Times
Facing Republican resistance to extending a payroll tax holiday, House Speaker John A. Boehner is considering sweetening the package for his party members with legislation that would advance the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Failure by Congress to approve an extension of the payroll tax break before it expires at the end of the year would result in an average $1,000 annual tax hike on 160 million American workers. The prospect of that politically unpopular outcome has led GOP leaders to coalesce around President Obama's proposal to continue the tax break for 2012.
November 2, 2011
Unless Congress acts soon, the federal government will stop offering extended unemployment benefits at the end of the year, cutting off aid to more than 1 million jobless Americans. Meanwhile, states and employers are being dunned by Washington to help pay for the benefits already provided. Critics of unemployment insurance say the problem is the benefits themselves, which they say prolong unemployment. But the issues at the state and federal levels are distinct, and they require different responses.
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