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California / Saving Unemployment Insurance

A rescue effort is underway for the state’s financially troubled unemployment insurance program, an economic lifeline that currently provides weekly monetary support for 525,000 jobless Californians.

More than $10 billion in the red, the unemployment insurance fund has been spiraling toward bankruptcy in recent years, even as it continues to provide weekly jobless benefits of as much as $450 for job seekers.

Unemployment, as it’s best known, is a primary element of the state’s economic safety net. Funded by employer taxes, it’s been providing jobless benefits since 1935. The assistance, both from the state’s basic 26-week program and a number of federal extensions, has been a big help for the long-term jobless and a boon for businesses where they buy gas, groceries and other staples.

But in recent years, California’s unemployment insurance fund has been hammered by the worst economic hard times since the Great Depression.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor

latimes

via Effort to save state’s unemployment insurance program is underway – latimes.com.

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