There has been a loss of one half a million jobs in the public sector lost since 2008 due to short falls in State funds. The American Jobs Act would stop the loss and return people to work.
The next section of the bill is:
TITLE III – ASSISTANCE FOR THE UNEMPLOYED AND PATHWAYS BACK TO WORK
Subtitle A – Supporting Unemployed Workers
This subtitle may be cited as the “Supporting Unemployed Workers Act of 2011”.
Sec. 301. Short Title
Part I – Extension of Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Certain Extended Benefits Provisions, and Establishment of Self-Employment Assistance Program
Sec. 311. Extension of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program
Sec. 312. Temporary Extension of Extended Benefit Provisions
Sec. 313. Reemployment Services and Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment Activities
This wasn't a passive bill. President Obama knew the jobs lost with the 2008 Depression were gone. There were now workers literally 'stranded' within out society whom no matter how long they looked for work were not going to find it.
The housing bubble ended a lot of jobs in construction including electricians, plumbers, masons, etc., etc. These skilled laborers were not going to find gainful employment in the near future which means impoverishment to them and their families.
To date those people are still not finding the work they need, the housing industry is slowly returning to a place where skilled labor could find work on a regular basis. Work without interruption. These workers are working with periods of unemployment or part time permanently if they are lucky. Retraining is very important people without a solid future. So, this bill emphasized in this section how and why it was important.
“(2) DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES.—The reemployment services and in-person reemployment and eligibility assessment activities provided to individuals receiving emergency unemployment compensation described in paragraph (1)—
“(A) shall include—
“(i) the provision of labor market and career information;
“(ii) an assessment of the skills of the individual;
“(iii) orientation to the services available through the One-Stop centers established under title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998;
“(iv) job search counseling and the development or review of an individual reemployment plan that includes participation in job search activities and appropriate workshops and may include referrals to appropriate training services; and
“(v) review of the eligibility of the individual for emergency unemployment compensation relating to the job search activities of the individual; and
“(B) may include the provision of—
“(i) comprehensive and specialized assessments;
“(ii) individual and group career counseling; and
“(iii) additional reemployment services.
The requirements were fairly unyielding. If one was on unemployment and the Labor Board of any state knew the industry was tanking, the services to retrain were nearly mandatory. So this was not a government handout as it is portrayed, so much as a bridge to a new way of earning a living. Any reluctance on the part of people receiving these monies was to be discouraged by mandatory participation. They weren't to get a participation ribbon either, so much as a new way to bring home a pay check to their families. The training was to have an end result.
“(3) PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENT.—As a condition of continuing eligibility for emergency unemployment compensation for any week, an individual who has been referred to reemployment services or reemployment and eligibility assessment activities under this subsection
shall participate, or shall have completed participation in, such services or activities, unless the State agency responsible for the administration of State unemployment compensation law determines that there is justifiable cause for failure to participate or complete such services or activities, as defined in guidance to be issued by the Secretary of Labor.”
Sec. 314. Federal-State Agreements to Administer a Self-Employment Assistance Program
The 2008 Depression hit the construction industry very deeply. Depending on where one lives in the country the self-employed is the same as union labor in the understanding since the work was gone people were stranded. In some states where self-employment is the only way to make a living there had to be measures to provide for them. Just because they were an independent small business didn't define wealth, so much as making ends meet. That is why this section was important to include.
“(i) AUTHORITY TO CONDUCT SELF-EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.—
“(1) IN GENERAL.—
“(A) ESTABLISHMENT.—Any agreement under subsection (a) may provide that the State agency of the State shall establish a self-employment assistance program described in paragraph (2), to provide for the payment of emergency unemployment compensation as self-employment assistance allowances to individuals who meet the eligibility criteria specified in subsection (b).
Sec. 315. Conforming Amendment on Payment of Bridge to Work Wages
This is more of a transition for the unemployed. The unemployment benefits may actually have paid more than a new job would pay if indeed someone was hired. It wasn't as though the President was trying to lie to the unemployed. This section of the bill literally states the circumstances were very bad and the work obtained may not pay what one is used to, but, a bridge to that lowering paying job would provide people with time to adjust to their new reality.
“(j) AUTHORIZATION TO PAY WAGES FOR PURPOSES OF A BRIDGE TO WORK PROGRAM.—Any State that establishes a Bridge to Work program under section 204 of the Supporting Unemployed Workers Act of 2011 is authorized to deduct from an emergency unemployment compensation account established for such individual under section 4002 such sums as may be necessary to pay wages for such individual as authorized under section 204(b)(1) of such Act.”.
Sec. 316. Additional Extended Unemployment Benefits Under The Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act
(1) by striking ‘‘June 30, 2011’’ and inserting ‘‘June 30, 2012’’; and
(2) by striking ‘‘December 31, 2011’’ and inserting ‘‘December 31, 2012’’.
Part II—Reemployment NOW Program
Here is the reality of the program today in Philadelphia.
Sec. 321. Establishment of Reemployment NOW Program
It was a measure for people on emergency unemployment still unable to find work.
AUTHORIZATION AND APPROPRIATION.—There are authorized to be appropriated and appropriated from the general fund of the Treasury for fiscal year 2012 $4,000,000,000 to carry out the Reemployment NOW program under this part
Sec. 322. Distribution of Funds
Sec. 323. State Plan
Sec. 324. Bridge to Work Program
(b) DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM.— In order to increase individuals’ opportunities to move to permanent employment, a State may establish a Bridge to Work program to provide an EUC claimant with short-term work experience placements with an eligible employer, during which time such individual—
(1) shall be paid emergency unemployment compensation payable under title IV of the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110-252; 26 U.S.C. 3304 note), as wages for work performed, and as specified in subsection (c);
(2) shall be paid the additional amount described in subsection (e) as augmented wages for work performed; and
(3) may be paid compensation in addition to the amounts described in paragraphs (1) and (2) by a State or by a participating employer as wages for work performed....
One of the possibilities for this program could mean public employment in administering this law in the way of construction of school infrastructure. The bill was putting jobs into the market place and those receiving emergency unemployment were to receive the jobs being generated by this new law. The law created jobs for much needed renovation of schools and classrooms, but, also targeted the unemployed as those to be considered for the jobs generated.
...(1) CERTIFICATION OF ELIGIBLE EMPLOYER.—A State may certify as eligible for participation in the program under this section any employer that meets the eligibility criteria as established in guidance by the Secretary of Labor, except that an employer shall not be certified as eligible for participation in the program described under subsection (b)—
(A) if such employer—
(i) is a Federal, State, or local government entity;
(ii) would engage an eligible individual in work activities under any employer’s grant, contract, or subcontract with a Federal, State, or local government entity, except with regard to work activities under any employer’s supply contract or subcontract;
(iii) is delinquent with respect to any taxes or employer contributions described under sections 3301 and 3303(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or with respect to any related reporting requirements;
Sec. 325. Wage Insurance
Another transition measure. These monies would have allowed people to support their current responsibilities for two years without losing wage labor. That is a long time. It would allow people to reassess their financial circumstances, sell or remortgage their home(s), sell cars and purchase different ones, pay off bills that otherwise would result in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy would deepen the depression and prolong it.
(b) BENEFITS.—The wage insurance program provided under this section may use funds allotted to the State under this part to pay, for a period not to exceed 2 years, to a worker described in subsection (c), up to 50 percent of the difference between—
(1) the wages received by the worker at the time of separation; and
(2) the wages received by the worker for reemployment.
Sec. 326. Enhanced Reemployment Strategies
(a) IN GENERAL.—A State may use funds allotted under this part to provide a program of enhanced reemployment services to EUC claimants. In addition to the provision of services to such claimants, the program may include the provision of reemployment services to individuals who are unemployed and have exhausted their rights to emergency unemployment compensation under title IV of the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008, (Public Law 110-252; 26 U.S.C. 3304 note). The program shall provide reemployment services that are more intensive than the reemployment services provided by the State prior to the receipt of the allotment under this part.
Sec. 327. Self-Employment Programs
Sec. 328. Additional Innovative Programs
President Obama never assumed he was the only one with the right idea to return people to work and provide for transition. Section 328 literally allowed the State to write initiatives known to work for their people. If North Carolina knew they needed more people in the forestry department due to drought and fires, as existed in the last two years, the state had the right to conduct a program for eligible candidates for those jobs. President Obama has a lot of respect for others who can facilitate hope in people's lives. This is one of those humble moments in his Presidency where he never assumed to know everything there was to know to put people back to work. In Section 328 he sought to empower those willing to put hope back into the future for people stranded.
(a) IN GENERAL.— A State may use funds allotted under this part to provide a program for innovative activities, which use a strategy that is different from the reemployment strategies described in sections 324-327 and which are designed to facilitate the reemployment of EUC claimants.
Sec. 329. Guidance and Additional Requirements
Oversight and compliance to the Secretary of Labor from the states receiving the funds.
The Secretary of Labor may establish through guidance, without regard to the requirements of section 553 of title 5, United States Code, such additional requirements, including requirements regarding the allotment, recapture, and reallotment of funds, and reporting requirements, as the Secretary determines to be necessary to ensure fiscal integrity, effective monitoring, and appropriate and prompt implementation of the activities under this Act.
Sec. 330. Report of Information and Evaluations to Congress and the Public
Oversight and compliance from the Secretary of Labor to the Congress for assessment of programs and evaluation of what worked best, what was new and innovative and where success occurred most often.
The Secretary of Labor shall provide to the appropriate Committees of the Congress and make available to the public the information reported pursuant to section 329 and the evaluations of activities carried out pursuant to the funds reserved under section 322(a)(1).
Sec. 331. State
PART III – SHORT-TIME COMPENSATION PROGRAM
SEC. 341. TREATMENT OF SHORT-TIME COMPENSATION PROGRAMS.
There are ten provisions in this section of which three are below. This was to keep employers operating with a reduced workforce familiar with that industry and already knowing their jobs if that employer found a need to downsize their work force. The employees remaining on the job would be eligible to receive unemployment to supplement their loses of wage labor.
“(1) the participation of an employer is voluntary;
“(2) an employer reduces the number of hours worked by employees in lieu of layoffs;
“(3) such employees whose workweeks have been reduced by at least 10 percent, and by not more than the percentage, if any, that is determined by the State to be appropriate (but in no case more than 60 percent), are eligible for unemployment compensation;
This section is as much a support to employers to help retool the economy as to the employees experiencing disruption in their own cash flow.
Sec. 342. Temporary Financing of Short-Time Compensation Payments In States With Programs In Law
Sec. 343. Temporary Financing of Short-Time Compensation Agreements
Sec. 344. Grants for Short-Time Compensation Programs
(b) AMOUNT OF GRANTS.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The maximum amount available for making grants to a State under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be equal to the amount obtained by multiplying $700,000,000 (less the amount used by the Secretary under subsection (e)) by the same ratio as would apply under subsection (a)(2)(B) of section 903 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1103) for purposes of determining such State's share of any excess amount (as described in subsection (a)(1) of such section) that would have been subject to transfer to State accounts, as of October 1, 2010, under the provisions of subsection (a) of such section.
Sec. 345. Assistance and Guidance In Implementing Programs
The Secretary of Labor was to be a consultant to the states to help the programs develop and be successful.
Sec. 346. Reports
Reports as per usual ultimately to the Congress and President.
All these sections are mostly self explanatory. These sections say the state would receive 100% reimbursement of funds used for the purposes here. There were not state funds needed to have these programs available for citizens. These programs were completely financed by the federal government through the IRS code and states could help their people without causing budget shortfalls.
Subtitle B – Long-Term Unemployed Hiring Preferences
Sec. 351. Long Term Unemployed Workers Work Opportunity Tax Credits
(a) IN GENERAL.—Paragraph (3) of section 51(b) of the Internal Revenue Code is amended by inserting “$10,000 per year in the case of any individual who is a qualified long term unemployed individual by reason of subsection (d)(11), and” before “$12,000 per year”....
...“(11) Qualified long term unemployed individual.
(A) In general. The term “qualified long term unemployed individual” means any individual who was not a student for at least 6 months during the 1-year period ending on the hiring date and is certified by the designated local agency as having aggregate periods of unemployment during the 1-year period ending on the hiring date which equal or exceed 6 months.
(B) Student. For purposes of this subsection, a student is an individual enrolled at least half-time in a program that leads to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential for at least 6 months whether or not consecutive during the 1-year period ending on the hiring date.”;...
That mostly defines this section. There are provisions for employer tax credits under certain circumstances.
Tomorrow I'll finish up Title III in reviewing:
Subtitle C - Pathways back to work.