2014

PA Labor & Industry Secretary: Congress Must Act Immediately to Continue Vital Re-Employment, Unemployment Compensation Programs

Summer Youth, Unemployment Benefits in Jeopardy without Quick Action

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Swift action must be taken by the U.S. Senate to restore vital reemployment and unemployment assistance programs, Labor & Industry Secretary Sandi Vito said today.

Without immediate attention to House Resolution 4213 – the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010 – hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania's citizens who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own will be left without emergency unemployment insurance.

Emergency unemployment compensation and other Recovery Act provisions expired June 2. However, Pennsylvanians should continue to file their claims for Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Extended Benefits in hopes that the Senate will pass the bill early next week and prevent interruptions in benefit payments. Unless Congress acts, claimants will only be able to continue collecting Emergency Benefits on their current tier, but will not be able to move onto another tier. In addition, the Extended Benefits program will end in Pennsylvania after the week ending June 5, if the program is not extended by Congress.

"Although we've seen signs of job growth nationally – and particularly in Pennsylvania – there are still five workers for every job opening," Vito said. "Current extensions on unemployment benefits must be continued until the end of the year, so that people, families and communities can take advantage of opportunities presented by the growing economy, but not be decimated in the interim.

"Record numbers of individuals are still looking for work. I've personally spoken to many unemployed people who are diligently looking for work, and they need more time for the economic recovery to reach them."

In addition to the unemployment compensation programs, HR 4213 provides funding for states to implement summer youth employment programs. The legislation also extends the use of Recovery Act Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, Contingency Funding, which supports the recently-implemented PA Way to Work subsidized-employment initiative.

"Summer youth employment programs and subsidized employment are important tools in the state's overall economic recovery strategy," Vito said. "These two provisions of the bill should be maintained, so that states can implement important back-to-work programs."

Information about unemployment compensation programs is available at www.uc.pa.gov, while information about reemployment services, such as Pennsylvania Way to Work, is available at www.paworkforce.state.pa.us.

Media contact: Troy Thompson, 717-787-7530

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry



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