Check this out — unemployment in Washington just hit a record low. In fact it’s the lowest it’s been in the history of state unemployment stats, going back more than 40 years.
Do you think this record-low unemployment rate has anything to do with the fact that we just raised the minimum wage?
- For sure!
Higher wages lift up the whole economy — when more people have more money, it means more customers for more businesses.
- Who cares?
I’m no economist, but jobs are growing and wages are up, so it’s all good.
- No way.
Maybe unemployment would have been even lower than the lowest it’s ever been if the minimum wage had been voted down?
Anyway, just wanted to make sure you heard the good news. And thanks for taking a moment to let us know what you think!
Sage, Working Washington
Source: Washington State Employment Security Department, 6/14/2017
Suzan DelBene (WA-01)
Denny Heck (WA-10)
Derek Kilmer (WA-06)
Rick Larsen (WA-02)
FARMBILL:$238Mil +n subsidies given to some members of Congress !Did your member just vote2keep their $$ a secret? yet,cut $8.7bil out of SNAP
ThinkProgress War Room
It’s Time to Focus on Jobs & Growth
For the better part of three years Washington has been gripped by an obsession with the deficit, but a new paper out from the Center for American Progress today argues that it’s time to abandon austerity, ditch deficit hysteria, and instead focus on jobs and economic growth.
What’s changed since Washington caught deficit fever in 2010? A lot, as it turns out.
- The deficit has been significantly reduced and stabilized.
- We have already enacted significant deficit reduction: $2.5 TRILLION worth, three-quarters of which has come from spending cuts.
- Health care spending has grown much more slowly than expected, due in part to Obamacare.
- The intellectual argument in favor of austerity collapsed in a somewhat spectacular fashion.
- The implementation of austerity in Europe has been nothing short of disastrous. Unemployment in the Eurozone is at a record high and the UK’s austerity almost resulted in triple-dip recession and has actually resulted in more, not less debt.
What hasn’t changed? We continue to have tepid growth and the economy is not creating nearly as many jobs as it could or should be.
In fact, we don’t even need the painful and ill-conceived sequester cuts to achieve the level of deficit reduction that we originally set out to, hence the report calls for replacing it for the next three years.
So instead of painful austerity and needless hysteria about the deficit and debt, we ought to be making investments in order to grow the middle class and the economy along with it. The report identifies $82 BILLION worth of pro-growth investments:
- $50 BILLION to fix our crumbling infrastructure.
- $20 BILLION for early childhood education.
- $12 BILLION for the “Pathways Back to Work Fund,” which would help provide opportunities for the long-term unemployed, young people, and low-income people.
Now is the perfect time to make these kinds of investments as interest rates on government bonds are unusually low right now.
In addition to all of these key facts, it’s also time to recognize some political realities. Since Republicans refuse to negotiate in good faith toward a so-called “grand bargain” there is no point in continuing to pursue one. Instead, we ought reset the debate, replace the sequester for three years with an achievable package of cuts and revenue increases, and turn our attention toward making the investments we need to fuel jobs and growth.You can read the entire report in all of its wonky goodness HERE.
BOTTOM LINE: Austerity is dead — or at least it should be.
Information about the federal sequester
Updated March 14, 2013
There are two primary questions being asked related to the federal sequester:
- Do federally funded employees who are furloughed qualify for unemployment benefits?
- Are unemployment benefits affected by the sequester?
Questions about sequester-related furloughs
||I’m being put on temporary leave without pay (furloughed). Am I eligible for unemployment benefits for the time I’m off?
||It depends on how the furlough is implemented. You would have to be unemployed for most or all of a week (Sunday through Saturday) in order to be eligible for benefits – assuming you meet other eligibility requirements. However, if you normally work full-time and your hours are reduced by one work day in a week, you will not be eligible for benefits because you still earn too much in that week to be eligible.
||NOTE: We decide eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Anyone has the right to apply for benefits and claim weekly benefits. When we have all the facts, we will determine eligibility.
||Will I get paid for every week I file a claim?
||The first time you file your weekly claim and are eligible to receive benefits will be considered a “waiting week.” You will not be paid benefits for your waiting week. If you go off and on unemployment benefits more than once during your benefit year, you will not have to serve another waiting week during this unemployment claim.
||How much money would I get in unemployment benefits?
||You can estimate your weekly benefit amount on our website. If you’re furloughed for only part of a week, use the earnings deduction chart to see if the reduction in your gross weekly pay makes you eligible for any benefits.
||Do I have to look for work if I am waiting to go back to work with my employer?
||In general, you are required to look for work unless we tell you otherwise.
Some possible exceptions:
- If you are temporarily unemployed because of a lack of work, but you expect to return to work with your regular employer, you may qualify for “standby.” You must have a definite or probable return-to-work date within a reasonable amount of time. If we approve you for standby, you do not have to look for work, but you must be available for all hours of work offered by your regular employer. These weeks do not have to be consecutive.
- If you were hired to work full-time and you are still working each week, but your hours have been temporarily reduced, you may qualify for partial unemployment benefits (see the previous question}. To meet this requirement and to have your work-search waived, your weekly hours may be reduced by no more than 60 percent, and you must return to full-time work within four months.
Questions about the sequester and unemployment benefits
||Will unemployment benefits be cut as a result of the sequester?
||The sequester does not affect “regular” unemployment benefits, which are paid with state funds. Regular unemployment benefits pay up to 26 weeks of benefits.
||However, Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) will be affected.
||At this time, we are working with the federal Department of Labor to understand how and when the cuts will be applied to the benefits. We will communicate directly with benefit recipients when we have the answers.
||Do you plan to halt EUC benefit payments?
||We have no intention of stopping payments to EUC claimants.