Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Myth Busting

"1)Unemployed benefits make people less likely to find jobs.
4)The private sector can take care of unemployed on its own
5)The unemployment rate gives us a good sense of how many people are affected by the downturn."

Heidi Shierholz, "Five Myths about unemployment," The Washington Post, July 25, 2010.

Unmasking these myths shows that there will be millions of people looking for jobs for some time. This is not a short-term problem. Unemployment benefits is certainly a key part of the response, which also includes economic development, new industry development, wage subsidies, training and skills, and OJT. Another conclusion might be that we need to reconsider public jobs for targeted populations. I heard an official from HHS last week say that $4 billion out of $5 billion of TANF Emergency Funds that have been drawn down as part of ARRA is being used by states for public, subsidized employment, some 200,000 jobs, the largest public jobs program since CETA. DOL will be rolling out a much smaller amount, some $50 million, for transitional jobs in the next year. That's a good start.

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