The Labor Department announced on Monday that it will be awarding almost $100 million in grant funding to states to prevent layoffs by allowing businesses to pay employees as part-time workers and the federal government will pick up the tab for the cost of a full-time paycheck.
The “work-sharing” program was passed as part of a Republican-led bill in the House, H.R. 3630, and Senate Amendment 1465 to extend the payroll tax deduction and unemployment benefits. In February 2012, President Barack Obama signed the bill into law, which included the $100 million in funding.
The work-sharing programs “allows employees to keep their jobs and helps employers to avoid laying off their trained workforces during economic downturns by reducing the hours of work for an entire group of affected workers,” according to the Labor Department.
The grants will be given to states that apply and meet certain requirements, including having short-term compensation programs in place that meet federal guidelines. Workers will have “wages compensated with a portion of their weekly unemployment compensation payments,” according to the Labor Department.
The largest pot is available to California, with $11,593,587 in grant funding listed. New York and Florida can get around $6 million, with Illinois and Pennsylvania eligible for more than $4 million each.
Reader Andrew who sent me the link, writes ...
A $100 million program for all 50 states is clearly just a political token to say that they have done something about the problem.
The money will probably go to those companies that have close connections to the politicians in power (i.e., those who make sizable campaign contributions).
Andrew is correct on both counts. The problem with #1 is politicians are likely to want to do "more" as soon as this program kicks off.
The idea that government should be supplementing anyone this way is of course ludicrous.
Keynesian clowns are concerned about the decline in government jobs in the past few years. They want the government to step up spending and hire more workers to make up for the loss of jobs in the private sector.
Here is a chart from reader Tim Wallace that will help put the recent loss of government jobs in a better perspective.
Percentage Job Growth vs. Population Growth
click on any chart for sharper image
The growth in government jobs is not sustainable nor is there any genuine excuse for it other than political pandering and vote-buying operations.
The deviance between private bobs and population growth is easily explained by the entry of women in the workforce.
Percentage Male and Female Job Growth vs. Population Growth
Note how the percentage growth of men in the labor force closely tracks population growth the percentage growth of women in the workforce has skyrocketed.
Employment in Millions
Entry of women in the workforce allowed much higher household debt levels than ever before.
I'll tell you what. Ability of households to take on more debt has peaked. There are no more female workers to add to the pool. Everyone male or female is working (or is looking for work) whether they really want to or not.
Women actually overtook men in the work force way back in 1990.
Percentage of Total Workforce That is Female
The unfortunate fact of the matter is everyone needs to work to pay off accumulated debts and meet living expenses, but the jobs are not there.
The second unfortunate fact is we cannot afford and do not need all of the existing government jobs.
The third unfortunate fact is demographics are no longer favorable. Indeed, there are too few jobs, too much student debt, and too few workers supporting too many retirees on Social Security.
Those unfortunate facts happen to be highly deflationary.