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Unemployment Insurance

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NEWS
October 21, 2011 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Yes, the government provides unemployment insurance, but is there a market for private unemployment insurance? Given the economy's dismal prospects, a seasoned insurance executive and a Penn mathematics whiz are betting the answer is yes. Marketing it under the name IncomeAssure, the Assura Group of NY Ltd. has been rolling out the product since August, as state insurance commissions, including those in Pennsylvania, New...
NEWS
July 30, 2008 | Theodore R. Marmor and Jerry L. Mashaw
Theodore R. Marmor and Jerry L. Mashaw are professors at Yale University Unemployment is not only increasing in a weakened American economy, but many long-term unemployed face the ending of their unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Congress recently has provided the usual fix - authorization for states to extend benefits for an additional period. This legislative extension is helpful for those battered by the current slowdown. But it does not scratch the surface of the structural problems with the unemployment insurance program that has made it a hollow promise for many workers.
NEWS
May 3, 2006 | By Susan J. Bottino
As if New Jersey didn't have enough financial problems, the state's fund for paying unemployment insurance benefits is so low that a recession could exhaust it in four months. Like many of the state's fiscal woes, this one was avoidable. In the last 14 years, the state has used more than $4.7 billion from the fund, including $350 million in 2005-06, to reimburse hospitals for services they provide to the poor and uninsured. When the diversion started in 1992, it wasn't viewed as a problem.
NEWS
February 13, 2013 | By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a highly critical letter, U.S. Department of Labor officials have rebuked the State of Pennsylvania for "serious compliance issues" in its operation of the unemployment insurance program. The commonwealth has often underperformed so profoundly in the timely handling of unemployment insurance forms and other matters - many within the last year - that the federal government may consider sanctions that would restrict budget money to the Department of Labor and Industry, according to the letter.
NEWS
September 5, 2011 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Freelancers, independent contractors, consultants, day laborers working off the books for cash, contingent workers, temps, virtual assistants, free agents. These are the names for the ever-growing part of America's labor force with an interesting distinction. They aren't employees. Or at least, they aren't on the payrolls of the companies where they spend their days (or work from home) answering phones, installing drywall, conducting research, delivering packages, engineering bridges, staffing help desks, researching logistics issues, writing Internet copy, implementing new software, cleaning toilets.
BUSINESS
August 24, 2013 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
For the first time since the start of the recession in late 2007, the number of people filing initial claims for unemployment insurance in the month fell to 330,500 a week on average, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday. The news buoyed Wall Street, but the national story isn't what's happening in the Philadelphia region. "Philadelphia's economy has struggled this summer," said Ryan Sweet, an economist with Moody's Analytics in West Chester. The last time the national number was so low was in November 2007 - the month before the official start of what economists have described as the worst recession since the Great Depression.
NEWS
March 16, 2016
ISSUE | RIDE-SHARING Leaders, shun Uber Consider how many of Philadelphia's progressive Democrtats and elected officials oppose discriminatory practices, want companies to pay at least the minimum wage, believe multinational corporations have too much power, and support the right of collective bargaining for wages and benefits. Then consider how many of those people support the ride-sharing services UberX, Uber Pool, and Lyft. Here are some facts about Uber and Lyft: They are multinational corporations.
BUSINESS
November 23, 2002 | By James Kuhnhenn INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
Nearly a million jobless workers will lose unemployment benefits just days after Christmas this year, a date Congress was unable to extend because of disputes between the House and the Senate. Congress adjourned its 107th session yesterday, faltering in a last-ditch effort to help recession victims whose unemployment insurance is about to run out. Earlier this year, Congress approved a 13-week extension of jobless benefits for workers who had been affected by the economic downturn.
BUSINESS
April 2, 1993 | FROM INQUIRER WIRE SERVICES
New claims for state unemployment insurance rose in the latest week to the highest level in almost five months, the U.S. Labor Department said yesterday. The increase of 33,000 in the week ended March 27 was not anticipated by economists and is a continuing sign of weakness in the job market. Pennsylvania was the state with the biggest rise nationally in the week ended March 20, the latest week for which individual state figures were available. The report said claims in Pennsylvania that week by individuals newly out of work increased by 1,847 to 20,777.
NEWS
September 15, 2011
MORE Americans than ever before - 46.2 million - are poor. The U.S. poverty rate - 15.1 percent - is the highest it has been since 1993. Middle-class incomes have fallen to their lowest point since 1997. But as bad as things are, they could be worse. And if our political leaders continue to pursue the wrong-headed policies currently in vogue, they will be. Economic data for 2010 released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau paint a distressing picture of the economic devastation left in the wake of the Great Recession: Nearly a million more Americans lack health insurance than in 2009.
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NEWS
March 16, 2016
ISSUE | RIDE-SHARING Leaders, shun Uber Consider how many of Philadelphia's progressive Democrtats and elected officials oppose discriminatory practices, want companies to pay at least the minimum wage, believe multinational corporations have too much power, and support the right of collective bargaining for wages and benefits. Then consider how many of those people support the ride-sharing services UberX, Uber Pool, and Lyft. Here are some facts about Uber and Lyft: They are multinational corporations.
NEWS
January 11, 2016 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Staff Writer
The nation's payrolls increased by 292,000 jobs in December, eight years after the beginning of the 2007 recession that crippled America's economy. The unemployment rate remained at 5 percent for the third month in a row, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday. Not surprisingly, Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, who will be visiting a manufacturing plant in Philadelphia next week, liked the report. "What we see from the data, the job train sped into the new year. We have to make sure every worker has a seat on the train," Perez said in a phone interview.
BUSINESS
September 11, 2015 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Uber's billboards promised opportunities to earn $25 to $30 an hour, so Takele Gobena quit his $9-an-hour job at the Seattle airport, borrowed money to buy a car, and began working as a driver for Uber and Lyft. "We're not earning a living wage," Gobena said. After expenses, he said, he wound up earning $2.64 an hour, not enough to cover car payments or support his infant daughter. Gobena served as Exhibit A on Wednesday as advocates for low-wage workers released a report about problems and possible solutions for a growing class of workers such as Gobena in what is known as the on-demand economy.
NEWS
May 4, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
While she's been at college, senior Stefanie Lechner, 23, has been watching the economy. "It doesn't frighten me," she said Friday, less than two weeks away from graduation from Temple University. Maybe it's because of Friday's champagne-popping report from the U.S. Labor Department - an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent in April, the lowest since September 2008, when it was 6.1 percent, and a not-shabby payroll expansion of 288,000 jobs. That being said, Lechner, graduating with a degree in therapeutic recreation, will soon begin an unpaid internship - a career step she believes will lead to full-time employment in the same organization by year's end. "It's a great opportunity," she said.
NEWS
February 13, 2014
Hoop dreams The communities of Abington and Neshaminy should be recognized for the absolutely incredible sportsmanship demonstrated by their varsity basketball teams and coaches last weekend when a Bensalem student with Down syndrome was included in their basketball games ("A special player helps lift Bensalem," Feb. 9). The four-year member of our team who serves as team manager, Kevin Grow, took the court and forged memories for himself and all of us who had the pleasure of watching this fine young man score numerous points.
BUSINESS
August 24, 2013 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
For the first time since the start of the recession in late 2007, the number of people filing initial claims for unemployment insurance in the month fell to 330,500 a week on average, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday. The news buoyed Wall Street, but the national story isn't what's happening in the Philadelphia region. "Philadelphia's economy has struggled this summer," said Ryan Sweet, an economist with Moody's Analytics in West Chester. The last time the national number was so low was in November 2007 - the month before the official start of what economists have described as the worst recession since the Great Depression.
NEWS
February 13, 2013 | By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a highly critical letter, U.S. Department of Labor officials have rebuked the State of Pennsylvania for "serious compliance issues" in its operation of the unemployment insurance program. The commonwealth has often underperformed so profoundly in the timely handling of unemployment insurance forms and other matters - many within the last year - that the federal government may consider sanctions that would restrict budget money to the Department of Labor and Industry, according to the letter.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2013 | Joel L. Naroff, Random Economics
Social costs are why the government cannot be run like a private-sector firm. Governments should rarely invest in private-sector companies. However, that happened at the peak of the recession when vehicle-makers GM and Chrysler were bailed out. Did the government make the right decision? To answer that you need to know not only the financial returns but also the social costs of not assisting the firms. The U.S. Treasury invested about $49.5 billion in GM and $12.5 billion in Chrysler so they could survive the Great Recession.
NEWS
December 21, 2012
Labor activists on Thursday distributed toys to the children of unemployed Philadelphians in Center City. But the gift these families really need - short of returning to work - is an extension of federal safety-net benefits that are critical to the long-term jobless. Unfortunately, along with more than 2 million other Americans, these city residents actively seeking work are facing the pending shutdown of the federal emergency unemployment program. Launched amid the economic crisis, this program has been a lifeline that more than doubles the number of weeks for jobless payments beyond the individual states' standard 26-week plans.
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