Thursday, April 2, 2009

Unemployment Tools and Considerations for people of Pennsylvania

According to this recent article in the Reading Eagle, unemployment in Berk's County rose to 8.4 percent in the month of February, which is up a full percentage point from the January figures and is the highest recorded unemployment mark for that county since August 1983. The figures, release by the state Department of Labor and Industry, show that the state of Pennsylvania's jobless rate has increased 3.1 percentage points to 7.5 percent overall since February of 2008. With that increase, Berks county now has the third highest unemployment rate of the state's 14 major markets. The total number of Berks residents without jobs as of February was 17,300 which is an increase of 2,000 from the previous month and is 8,000 higher than a year ago at this time. The only areas with higher unemployment totals are the two tied at the top, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport.

Since this is a rising cause for concern to so many locally, we'd like to cover a few recent topics regarding these issues and perhaps provide a few tools that you may find helpful to you.

A controversial topic has risen lately with how the unemployed are forced to use their unemployment compensation. People receiving unemployment compensation benefits are forced to use an 'unemployment benefit card', which is similar to a debit card. On the surface that seems harmless and effortless enough, except that recipients are now being charged bank fees to use those cards. This effectively reduces the amount of money that the people are able to receive in unemployment compensation, or child support for that matter.

With some employers facing tough decisions regarding layoffs in the coming weeks, there are some additional considerations that they are to consider regarding the cost of laying off employees. The funding for Unemployment Compensation comes from a tax that employers pay into the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund. As mentioned in this article, "in the Mid-Atlantic region, federal and state unemployment compensation costs employers an average 25 cents per hour per employee, or 0.12 percent of total payroll." The laying off of employees can prove to be more expensive than one might believe because the government assesses businesses based on the number and frequency of job reductions. Despite business struggles, the bottom line is that it may well be cheaper in the long run to retain employees so as to avoid an increase in cost for Unemployment Compensation insurance.

We've also come across a few articles that may serve as beneficial tools for you. If you click the link here, you will be taken to a brief breakdown on how to file for unemployment compensation. At this link here, there is a nice article on a family surviving on a severance package.

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6 comments:

Michael Krumer said...

That's some good information there

ObamaMama said...

this is the kind of info that people need

Crystal Laker said...

those numbers are depressing

Kip Dynamite said...

I hope these numbers get better soon.

Cam Barnes said...

Things are still kinda down. I'm hoping for good news soon

Doug said...

there's some cool stuff there