Streams

Boost in Jobless Benefits Stalled in Albany

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Unemployed mother Janet Francis of Brooklyn (in blue) looks for a job while her daughter Kayli, 2, sleeps on her shoulder at the New York State Labor Department's Division of Employment Services resource room July 2, 2009. (Getty)

Unemployed mother Janet Francis of Brooklyn (in blue) looks for a job while her daughter Kayli, 2, sleeps on her shoulder at the New York State Labor Department\'s Division of Employment Services resource room July 2, 2009. (Getty)

Advocates for the unemployed say the political stalemate in Albany has cost jobless New Yorkers more than $250 million in new unemployment benefits.

Andrew Stettner is deputy director of the National Employment Law Project. He says a bill to raise jobless benefits, from $405 to $475 a week, was short-circuited at the last minute.

'This is very timely which is why it's frustrating. there's some things that need to happen now. this is the relief that's badly needed in this economy so waiting until the recession is over to increase unemployment benefits doesn't have the same economic impact.'

Stettner says it's likely state lawmakers won't take up the bill until next year. In a joint report, NELP and the Fiscal Policy Institute say the state's maximum unemployment benefit is lower than that in Pennsylvania ($539), New Jersey ($584), and Connecticut ($576).

New York’s unemployment trust fund has been borrowing money from the federal government to pay out benefits because it hasn't been collecting enough to cover all the benefits it currently pays out. The bill before state lawmakers would have filled the shortfall by increasing the amount employers pay into the fund.

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Comments [3]

Pauline

All the Dem's and Rep's need to be put on unemployment just to see how it feels. They all need to be fired for lack of doing what they were elected to do and that is work for the people of NY. Try and have an employee of any company sit around like they have and see what would happen. Send them walking and have a new election immediately, the unemployed. It is not fun and it is getting worse by the second, let them all try it and then we will see how fast things will get done in Albany. I am embarrassed to say I live in NY, we have become the laughing stock of the the world and no one is doing a thing about it. WHY??? Who is afraid of stepping on whose toes. I would like to personally step on all of their toes and tell them to hit the road. 500 people for one job is the rule of thumb, so tell me how and where people are to find jobs in this state. It is a joke and no one cares except the people that are suffering like me and cannot find employment. Let's get real in this state for just once and show the rest of the world that we are smart and we do know what we are doing. We all do not have to march in a straight line to get it right. Albany and these elected officials are a huge joke and need to be fired immediately. Like now!!! No severance no anything, just have them go home and not come back to Albany ever again, they do nothing to better this state, nothing at all. That is all they do is blame others for their own mistakes. Not now and not ever again should this be allowed to happen in any state. The unemployed are suffering each and every day and no one cares, not the governor not anyone. This is not right!!!!

Jul. 03 2009 01:56 PM
Sarah

The 3 websites where job seekers got the best results (from about.com)-

http://www.linkedin.com (networking for professionals)
http://www.indeed.com (aggregated listings)
http://www.realmatch.com (matches you to the perfect jobs)

For those looking for work, good luck!

Jul. 03 2009 11:14 AM
MYRA MANN

IT REALLY MAKES NO SENSE THAT NEW YORK HAS ONE OF THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION PACKAGES. OUR TAXES ARE HIGH AND OUR LIVING EXPENSES ARE HIGH. YET NEIGHBORING STATES ARE REWARDED WITH SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER BENEFITS. THAT ADDED TO THE CIRCUS WE'VE BEEN WATCHING IN ALBANY IS UNFORGIVEABLE.

Jul. 03 2009 08:40 AM

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