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Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year, New Job: Fix the unemployment crisis with job creation for America's Job Seekers

Photo Credit-Google Images
Radio or Not Radio Host Nicole
Sandler build a website called
'Help the 99ers' on 12/25 to
connect 99ers with individuals
willing to help
The end of 2010 is less than 11 hours away. For America’s Job Seekers the year as been difficult, a story of survival and developing supportive friends to understand the struggle of trying to maintain a small standard of their former life prior to lay off.

In the fourth article of our 'Reach Out Job Search' New Year, New Job series, we will ask questions on what is needed in 2011 to fix the America's unemployment crisis with job creation policies. Also, we will highlight one radio host selfless act, to connect the long-term unemployed with people who are able to help.

For the 99ers, they have learned that President Obama Administration wants them to get a job, from a press conference held by Robert Gibbs on December 22th. Still the President, in his effort did not provide any job creation or re-training incentive in HR-4853 The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act, for them to do so.

A $1000 tax credit provided for employers in the HIRE Act for the long-term unemployed was not renewed for 2011. Programs in the original American Recovery and Re-investment Act of 2009 (ARRA) focused on re-training America’s Workers in high-demand fields but the funding existing platforms have ceased, mid-stream. One such program, Michigan’s successful No Worker Left Behind loss all funding from ARRA in July 2010 and, appears will not be renewed.

There were a few high hopes for the unemployed. Radio Host Nicole Sandler of Radio or Not podcast program took the cause of the current and future 99ers on her back and developed a Wordpress website on Christmas Day. Sort of like a Christmas Miracle in a way, with 'Help the 99ers'.

Ms. Sandler’s website is focus on placing the 99ers –an estimated group of 6 Million America Job Seekers and growing- in touch with others who have the means to help.
“The main part of the site is The Help Board. The Help Board is the forum. There’s a general discussion area, Ms. Sander wrote on the introduction page of the website. “There is a Jobs section, split into three: Need a Job?Jobs Available, and an Ideas section to kick around ideas with others. Who knows what could happen? This is sort of a take a penny, give a penny. No middle man”, stated Ms. Sandler.
In the past couple of days, real heartbreaking stories of what it is like to survive the last nine or ten months without any supplemental income assistance have appeared on the site. Sprinkles of hopes in the spirit of ‘New Year, New Job’ for 2011 have emerged, as a number of job openings from companies and forum posters have been added to the Help the 99ers job board.

Burning questions for 2011. Will large corporations release their profits with interest earned to expand on hiring in the United States to lower our 9.8 percent unemployment rate or, will these companies continue to invest and hire overseas? Will the support for the America’s Workers, unemployed and middle/lower classes come in the form or actual policies to re-invest in our country from the 112th Congress and President Obama?

Prior to leaving for their Holiday Congressional break Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA), with Co-Sponsors John Conyers (D-MI) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced HR-6556-The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Expansion Act to give 14 weeks of additional jobless assistance payments to the 99ers. Lee and Ford tried to include the bill into the original HR 4853 tax cut bill, to no success.

Meanwhile, HR-4853 did provide an unemployment extension of the dates for filing only, for job seekers under 99 weeks of benefits. The average jobless individual has look for an employment opportunity for six months or more. Over 60 percent of the unemployed who received extended supplemental income payments in HR-4853 will become 99ers themselves before the January 2012 expiration date of the legislation.

Will Representatives Lee, Conyers and Scott re-introduce the bill in the January 3rd Republican controlled House of Representatives remains to be seen? Either way for HR 4853 to have any change for success of passage in 2011 the bill would have to be paid for.

There is money available. The Stimulus Act of 2009 has left unused funding which could be tapped to meet well-documented Republicans demands for any unemployment insurance re-authorization to be paid for.

If funding is going to be taken out of the Stimulus Act, it would be best to fund this proposal, along with a job creation component for the 99ers. One such idea written by the Economic Policy Institute on October 10th suggests combining an initial public works program funded by the Federal Government with long-term re-training education at our nations’ community colleges and universities. 

Is this the answer in 2011 to return America’s Job Seekers back to work and to provide real income assistance to the longest-term unemployed?

We want to end our last article of the year with an interview with President Bill Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich on Countdown with Keith Olbermann guest hosted by Sam Seder, on December 28th. Mr. Reich, in the interview, outlined the reforms in our nation’s policy that would be needed to reduce the nations’ unemployment rate in 2011 and beyond.

Reach Out Job Search” News Blog wish all of America’s Job Seekers a Happy New Year in 2011.

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