Jobless pay vs. full- or part-time job

A major battle is playing out in Washington over whether to fund another federal extension of unemployment benefits beyond the customary 26 weeks. This morning a compromise appears likely -- GOP lawmakers perhaps going along with the extension in exchange for Democrat votes to extend Bush-era tax cuts for another couple of years for those making more than $200,000 annually. If the compromise fails, you'll see newspaper articles on the stress that the unemployed are experiencing as they wrestle with paying for groceries, heating bills, rent, and the like. Here is an article from [I]The Tennessean[/I], which estimates that 7 million Americans would lose jobless benefits in 2011 if the extension isn't approved: [URL][/URL] Because of previous extensions, some have been receiving benefits for as long as 99 weeks.

In addition to reducing the federal budget, opponents of another federal extension point out that the checks of $300 or $400 per week (depending on which state you're in) may actually discourage some people from working. [I]The Tennessean[/I] quotes one unemployed worker who disputes that argument. Another, however, admits that he didn't take a part-time $7-an-hour job because his unemployment paid more.

I'm curious what your experience has been in HR. Have you had any jobs that recently proved to be more difficult to fill because people didn't want to take a pay cut from what their jobless benefits were already providing? On the flip side, do you have any concerns that your company's business may suffer in 2011 if the jobless-pay extension isn't approved? The Obama administration is floating the idea that cutting 7 million people from the rolls will mean that another 600,000 will lose their jobs by December of next year. What do you think?


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  • The bigger issue in this area is people who stay on unemployment and work for under-the-table cash on the side. It not only stresses the UI pool, but it also keeps "legitimate" job hunters on the sideline.

    Going into winter, that will subside quite a bit... most of those jobs are agricultural or in construction.
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