Friday, September 30, 2011

Quote of the Day

“This unemployment situation we have, the jobs situation, is really a national crisis. We’ve had close to 10 percent unemployment now for a number of years and, of the people who are unemployed, about 45 percent have been unemployed for six months or more. This is unheard of.”
- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke (source)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Guest Post:

The following is a guest post written by Elizabeth C., on behalf of is a job application site dedicated to job seekers that are looking for companies that are offering hourly positions. The sole purpose of this site is to help job seekers find hiring links, as well as downloadable job applications that can be downloaded directly to the computer in the form of a PDF file. Why go to the store when you can print the application in the comfort of your own home? We all know that gas prices are sky high and it’s highly unnecessary to drive store after store to find what you can online.

Focus On the Long-Term Unemployment Crisis

The unemployment crisis, and especially the long-term unemployed, is becoming more of a concern in Washington: H.R. 589 has been on the table for some time, but now it's been joined by President Obama's American Jobs Act, S. 1549, and by Rep. Schakowsky's emergency jobs program, H.R. 2914.

One of the components of the American Jobs Act is the Reemployment NOW Program, whose goal is to facilitate the reemployment of EUC claimants and those who have exhausted benefit claims - the 99ers. One of the components of the Reemployment NOW program is the Bridge to Work program, which "would let businesses try out workers without having to pay them."

It's in everyone's interest to resolve the unemployment crisis. Bills like the ones above represent one approach, but not the only one. The WorkPlace, one of Connecticut's regional workforce development boards, has put together a program called Platform to Employment, which they describe as "a public-private partnership to prepare 99ers for jobs while creating a reliable way for businesses to hiring new workers without risk."

When government and the private sector are making efforts like these, it feels like we may, finally, be about to turn a corner.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Constitution Day


"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We need a one-two punch to solve the 99ers crisis

As seen on the Storify transcript of today's White House Office Hours online chat:

On one hand, Mr. Furman is right - "a job" is the best answer.

But we know the numbers, all too well. 14 million unemployed; 3 million job openings. A job is not going to happen until those odds drastically improve.

We need the American Jobs Act passed... and we need H.R. 589 passed with it.

Barbara Lee, Congressional Progressive Caucus Present Plan to Rebuild American Dream

September 14, 2011

Contact Kristal DeKleer (202) 225-1882

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following statement at the Congressional Progressive Caucus press conference:

“While I am pleased that the President made a strong case for his bill last week, I certainly think that we need to go bigger and bolder. After touring the country and listening to the American people on this summer’s Speak Out for Good Jobs! Tour, the Congressional Progressive Caucus is determined to rebuild the American dream.

“Today, we present the Rebuild the American Dream Platform, a comprehensive effort to put Americans back to work. The six principles outlined in the platform address three key ideals: In America, every good worker deserves a good American job. America should work again for people who work for a living. Working Americans should use their strength in numbers to counter corporate dollars.

“We need to invest in workers, provide targeted relief to the most vulnerable struggling to get by, and give the economy the jolt it needs. Too many Americans have exhausted their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits we must provide another 14 weeks of benefits, not only providing an immediate injection into our economy, but increasing demand and creating jobs. Communities of color continue to carry the burden of higher unemployment rates than the national average of 9.1 percent. African Americans have an unemployment rate of 16.7 percent and Latinos have an unemployment rate of 11.3 percent. We need immediate and DIRECT investment for the communities hit hardest by high unemployment.

“While there is no one way to go about creating jobs and growing our economy, the Congressional Progressive Caucus will continue to lead the way on helping our most vulnerable who have been hit the hardest by the Great Recession. “


Follow Barbara Lee on Twitter @RepBarbaraLee

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The American Jobs Act and the 99ers

Title III of President Obama's American Jobs Act (S. 1549) (Scribd link) focuses on providing assistance for the long-term unemployed – people who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer.

One specific mention is made of the 99ers. Other highlighted provisions in the bill can also provide assistance to the 99ers community.

Title III is organized into four subtitles:
  • Subtitle A supports unemployed workers;
  • Subtitle B addresses long-term unemployed hiring practices;
  • Subtitle C establishes the Pathways Back to Work Fund;
  • Subtitle D prohibits discrimination on the basis of being unemployed.
Here's what you need to know:

Subtitle A, Part I, the "Supporting Unemployed Workers Act of 2011," does the following:
  • it extends the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and Extended Benefits (EB) programs for one additional year;
  • it requires the States to provide reemployment services and eligibility assessment activities to benefit recipients, and it requires those recipients to participate;
  • it gives States the authority to conduct self-employment assistance programs that may pay up to 26 weeks of allowances to eligible individuals.
Subtitle A, Part II establishes the Reemployment NOW Program, to facilitate the reemployment of EUC claimants.
  • it allots $4 billion to the States based on two criteria: the number of total unemployed in the State, and the number of long-term unemployed in the State;
  • States may use these funds to establish and administer Bridge to Work programs, which allow employers to hire EUC claimants, whose salaries would be paid from the program;
  • States may provide a wage insurance program for EUC claimants who are at least 50 years old, making not more than $50,000 per year in wages from reemployment;
  • States may provide a program of enhanced reemployment services to EUC claimants;
  • States may use these funds to start up self-employment assistance programs;
  • States may use these funds for other programs for innovative activities. The 99ers are specifically mentioned here:
"A State may use funds allotted under this part to provide a program for innovative activities, which use a strategy that is different from the reemployment strategies described in sections 324-327 and which are designed to facilitate the reemployment of EUC claimants. In addition to the provision of activities to such claimants, the program may include the provision of activities to individuals who are unemployed and have exhausted their rights to emergency unemployment compensation under title IV of the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008"
Subtitle A, Part III considers the treatment, temporary financing, grants and assistance in implementing short-time compensation programs.

Subtitle B of the American Jobs Act establishes tax credits and simplified certification for businesses who hire the long-term unemployed.
Subtitle C, the "Pathways Back to Work Act of 2011," establishes a $5 billion fund to provide:

  • subsidized employment to unemployed, low-income adults;
  • summer and year-round employment opportunities to low-income youth;
  • grants to carry out activities to provide skills and assistance needed to obtain employment.
Subtitle D, the "Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011," prohibits "discrimination in employment on the basis of an individual's status as unemployed".

For 99ers and all the long-term unemployed, S. 1549 is a bill that achieves important goals. It's worth our efforts to add this bill to our legislative agenda, as a companion bill to H.R. 589. The two bills, passed together, would have a major beneficial impact on the 99er community.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Guest Post: Introducing

The following is a guest post written by Bob Roth, Director of Community & Engagement for

Stop listening to talk about jobs… and start working.

Jobs. They’re the talk of the town, of the nation, and even in your local coffee shop and living room. President Obama recently toured the Mid-west to listen and talk about jobs. Political candidates are already stumping about jobs. Radio and TV shows are talking about how to create more jobs (or why we’re not creating jobs).

That’s a lot of talk, with no action.

There’s no doubt that this is a different world than the one our parents and grandparents worked in. When McDonald’s hired 60,000 persons in April earlier this year—backfilling a lot of full-time management positions with part-timers—it was the first time in most of our lives that 3 generations of Americans competed with each other to become cashiers and cooks. No longer is the gold watch given after years of loyal service; this is the part-time job economy of the golden arches.

In her 2009 Newsweek article, “The New American Job,” Linda Stern wrote, “In this economy, a job isn't just a job: It's a pastiche of part-time gigs, project contracts and fill-in freelance work.” More than 60% of jobs added last year were temporary or freelance, and more than half of employers expect that they will hire more part-time workers in the next 5 years.

Hourly was created to give you the advantage in this new job economy.

Before Hourly, wading through this “gig-economy” demanded hours of searching for jobs, managing multiple online accounts, sending personal information and 100s of resumes to anonymous employers… no more! Hourly efficiently matches candidates with local jobs (and employers with local candidates) for free, covering every industry, skill or task.

When you get paid by the hour, you can’t spend hours looking for work.

Success will be in the hands of those who take control of their time—their schedules, commutes and interests—to discover the right combination of jobs that not only pay the bills, but present great opportunities. We know what it’s like—we’ve worked part-time jobs and hired part-time employees in our pasts—so we’ve made it our mission to get you back to work one job at a time.

Build a personal Hourly profile in minutes (for free) and we’ll match you with work in your area immediately!

99ers: The Real Lives of the Long-Term Unemployed

President Obama Introducing the American Jobs Act

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tampa Bay Online: "Deadline looms for millions of unemployed Floridians"

Kevin Wiatrowski reporting in the Tampa Tribune on the long-term unemployed and 99ers in Florida state:

Since August 2009, nearly 5 million Floridians have (lived on an unemployment check), seeking help from the three types of unemployment benefits now available: state unemployment benefits and federal emergency and extended benefits. As of July, 2.6 million of them had exhausted some or all those benefits, according to the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation.

Thousands more Floridians could find themselves in the same boat by early 2012. That's when the last few federal unemployment checks will end if federal officials can't agree on another extension. The bulk of federal and state unemployment benefits run out between Christmas and New Year's, according to Workforce officials.

What remains – short-term state benefits – will be available for the newly laid-off. But the length of those benefits will drop to a maximum of 23 weeks in January and could go as low as 12 weeks as the statewide unemployment rate falls, according to legislation passed this year.

The result is likely to be an immediate drop in consumer spending and a greater burden on charities and government programs.