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Photo: FEMA Photo Library.

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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 |
Photo: FEMA Photo Library.

The Lost Children of Katrina

In the year following Hurricane Katrina, 30 percent of displaced children were either not enrolled in school or not attending regularly. Today, Louisiana has the nation’s highest rate of young adults who are neither in school nor working. And researchers are starting to ask: could the widespread gaps in schooling after Katrina be the reason?

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  • 04.08.15

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    Last month the board of Sweet Briar College announced that the school will shut its doors at the end of this term, due to financial difficulties. The announcement was made abruptly, sending the campus community into a state of shock... and then activism.
  • 04.01.15

    The Future of College

    Kevin Carey's book "The End of College" is stirring up debate in higher ed circles. This week, a response to the book by a critic.
  • 03.25.15

    The End of College or the University of Everywhere

    When education policy wonk Kevin Carey looks into the future, he sees the end of traditional colleges and universities and he says that's a good thing.
  • 03.18.15

    UnRetirement

    Today older Americans are heading back to school in record numbers. Many have already started a career, but want to gain knowledge or skills that can make them more competitive in the workplace. Colleges and universities are grappling with the needs of a changing population of students.