11/19/2013 — 

WASHINGTON, DC – According to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Labor, Rhode Island has saved over 950 jobs since February of 2012 thanks to Senator Jack Reed’s law providing federal support to state work sharing programs (also known as Short-Term Compensation (STC) programs).  Reed’s law provides an estimated $500 million nationwide for business-state partnerships to help prevent layoffs.  Since it was enacted in 2012, Rhode Island has received over $6 million in federal reimbursements and grants from Reed’s law and has used those funds to help save 968 jobs.  

STC programs help people who are currently employed, but in danger of being laid off, keep their jobs. These programs keep workers on the job by giving struggling companies the flexibility to reduce hours instead of their workforce, helping them save on rehiring costs while employees keep their jobs and receive a portion of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to make up for lost wages.  Companies are able to remain competitive by lowering costs and keeping a skilled work force, employees keep their jobs and health benefits, and states only pay a fraction of the price it would cost if the workers went on unemployment.

“This is a proven, cost-effective program that helps more workers earn a steady paycheck and allows companies to save when they’re forced to temporarily scale back,” said Reed.  “Giving states an incentive to expand their work sharing programs is a smart investment in preventing future layoffs and blunting economic downturns.”

Rhode Island’s work sharing initiative has helped save over 15,000 jobs since 2008.  Under Reed’s law, the state will be relieved of all work sharing payments through 2015.

Rhode Island is among 27 states and the District of Columbia that have implemented similar programs, saving over 552,000 jobs nationally since 2008.  However, not enough states have work-sharing programs, and it is often under-publicized and underutilized by businesses in states that do.

The 27 states that currently have STC programs include: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced a new online resource to help states interested in developing or improving STC programs: https://stc.workforce3one.org

Jobs Saved by Work Sharing

          

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2012 2

2013 2 3

Arizona

540

1,954

864

499

350

300

285

Arkansas 1

n/a

n/a

995

321

162

155

236

California

18,391

48,595

30,363

25,083

21,052

18,080

15,034

Colorado 1

n/a

n/a

13

58

71

68

275

Connecticut

399

4,514

2,217

1,051

1,320

1,209

564

Florida

325

1,535

1,016

628

354

299

182

Iowa 1

n/a

4,285

1,760

941

713

569

241

Kansas

7,012

9,373

4,738

1,584

2,051

1,470

1,274

Massachusetts

545

4,010

1,180

502

448

378

154

Maryland

513

1,079

821

455

344

270

267

Minnesota

1,460

4,888

1,379

1,026

620

463

474

Missouri

2,788

5,080

2,968

3,704

3,206

2,711

2,282

New Hampshire 1

n/a

n/a

36

54

55

44

21

New York

2,689

13,926

6,186

4,259

4,344

3,588

3,253

Oregon

1,144

3,485

1,767

808

479

403

598

Rhode Island

2,896

6,632

2,941

988

623

506

462

Texas

12,536

26,749

13,008

12,212

9,856

8,604

7,012

Vermont

869

2,171

609

219

123

118

55

Washington

5,985

27,342

25,722

21,862

15,128

11,884

8,422

US Total

58,092

165,618

98,583

76,254

61,299

51,119

41,091

1 - Recently created programs no data for some years.

2 - Reflects claims filed after enactment of Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act

3 - Reflects claims filed through November 9, 2013

Note: This data represents work share equivalent initial claims (WSEIC), which makes the data comparable to regular unemployment insurance initial claims.  For example, 5 people applying for work share whose hours are reduced by 20 percent would be reported as 1 for WSEIC.   Source: Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor