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in collaboration with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity

Subsidize transitional employment wages

File under: income, jobs

0 (0 votes)

From: Robert P., Roxbury, CT

We have seen people both unemployed, and getting unemployment checks for 99 weeks. Two years of unemployment does no one any good. I was out of work for seven months, and it got harder and harder to respond to the "What have you been doing?" question in interviews.

How about offering directly subsidized wages to employers for hiring workers? The idea is to reduce the risk to hire for the employer, and to allow the employee to prove his or her value in a new job. We taxpayers would subsidize up to 30 percent of pay for the first 13 weeks, 20 percent for 13 more weeks, and 10 percent for up to 26 additional weeks.

There would need to be safeguards, of course: limits on the number of employees covered per employer to prevent employers from gaming the system, some way to protect the employee from continuous turnover, etc. The point is, instead of being cursed with "unemployment," the worker has the opportunity to gain new skills while bringing home a paycheck.

Sadly, I don't know how to finance such a program. I'd like to think funds could be shifted from current unemployment programs to transitional employment programs. And I think it'd a good idea to have workers pay back at least some of the transitional employment wages through a small wage garnishment after being employed for a year.

The benefits are big enough for all concerned that I think it's worth a shot.


Comments:

American RadioWorks |
Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Minorities and Special Ed

For years policy makers believed that minorities were overrepresented in special education and that there was inherent bias in the way kids were being identified as disabled. A new study turns this idea on its head.

Recent Posts

  • 06.23.15

    Learning from Video Games

    A lot of parents worry about whether their kids' video game habits are harmful - especially when gaming gets in the way of homework or reading. But writer Greg Toppo says gaming can be a great way to learn.
  • 06.17.15

    Teaching the Birds and the Bees

    For more than a century, Americans have been arguing about how to teach children about the birds and the bees in public schools. A new book argues that for all the fuss about sex education in America, students get precious little of it.
  • 06.11.15

    What can Japan teach us about teaching?

    Coming up this fall we'll be releasing a documentary about teacher preparation - how people learn to become teachers and how they get better once they're in the classroom. This week: how do Japanese teachers learn to improve on the job?
  • 06.02.15

    Million-Dollar Teacher

    When Nancie Atwell was growing up, she never thought she’d go to college, let alone become an award-winning teacher. But a few months ago, Atwell received a $1-million-dollar global prize for her decades of teaching English and literacy skills to elementary and middle schoolers.