Don't punish the jobseekers
Jan 08, 2014 | 1089 views | 0 0 comments | 121 121 recommendations | email to a friend | print
What ever happened to targeting zero percent unemployment?

Today, that is nothing more than faded wishful ambition set forth in the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978 and now a bipartisan vote to extend unemployment benefits is the new battle, expected to expire in a filibuster by the Senate Republicans.

In a release on Tuesday from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, they claim that a “reckless economic agenda” from the Right in the Senate, “long-term jobless insurance has expired for more than 1 million Americans who have been looking for work for at least 26 weeks,” and ultimately costing the economy nearly 240,000 jobs.

In an already hostile job market, getting the unemployed back to work should be among top priorities as some programs set in place are simply not working.

In NYC, state and local government annually gives away nearly $7 billion in taxpayer dollars every year to create incentives for businesses, attract customers and keep their doors open. And as Making NY Work For Hardworking New Yorkers reports, many of these have not kept up their end of the hiring bargain.

According to the job creation advocacy organization, programs that offer tax exemptions, like the Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs), failed to create even a single job through nearly 46 percent of their 2011 projects. While these businesses agreed to produce nearly 6,000 jobs, they in fact lost more than 17,000, according the organization.

Although the unemployment rate has dropped significantly since 2012, from 8.6 to 8 percent in NYC according to reports from the NYS Department of Labor, more still needs to be done to insure those still out of work have the benefits they need.

While some argue that unemployment benefits encourage people to stay jobless, they actually afford people the opportunity to devote more time to looking for a job.

And those benefits are also tied to a meaningful job search on the part of the recipient, or they lose those benefits, unlike those businesses that take advantage of subsidies and tax breaks but don't create jobs.

They get to keep that money.

Rather than punish the unemployed, we should look to help them and stop helping businesses who aren't holding up their end of the bargain when it comes to creating jobs in return for taxpayer-funded subsidies.

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