Great News Comrades! As soon as everyone who is out of work stops seeking employment Obamerica will have zero unemployment!

Worst President Ever

Via Bloomberg:

Employers boosted payrolls in April by the most in two years and the jobless rate plunged to 6.3 percent as companies grew confident the U.S. economy is emerging from a first-quarter slowdown.

The 288,000 gain in employment was the biggest since January 2012 and followed a revised 203,000 increase the prior month, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 218,000 advance. Unemployment dropped to the lowest level since September 2008. […]

One cloud in today’s employment report is worker pay is stagnating. Average hourly earnings held at $24.31 in April, and were up 1.9 percent over the past 12 months, the smallest gain this year.

The drop in the unemployment rate from March’s 6.7 percent came as the agency’s survey of households showed the labor force shrank by more the 800,000 in April. The so-called participation rate, which indicates the share of working-age people in the labor force, decreased to 62.8 percent, matching the lowest level since 1978, from 63.2 percent a month earlier.

So more than 1/3 of working age people is out of work? How is that Hope and Change working out Liberals?

Illinois Unemployment Website Offers Star Trek “Klingon” Language Option (Video)

Illinois Unemployment Website Offers Star Trek “Klingon” Language Option – Gateway Pundit

The unemployed in Illinois may experience frustration when applying for unemployment benefits if they do not speak fluent “Klingon” – the language of “Star Trek” creatures. The Illinois Department of Employment Security website makes it difficult to get answers in English, but Klingon is no problem. Unfortunately, this is no joke, or is it?

The Illinois bureaucrats claim they added the language to promote the new Star Trek movie. Independent Journal Review is at a loss for why the Illinois site would do this, and speculates maybe they got some money for it.

Here’s another theory to consider: Maybe no direct money but rather a quid pro quo exchange to promote the movie as a reward for Hollywood’s ATM-like support for the Democratic regime. Just a thought

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WQAD reports the following:

Cory Dilts feels like a character out of “Star Trek” these days.

He’s trying to boldly go where no man has gone before. Really, he just wants to log on to the Illinois Department of Employment Security website.

“You don’t get to talk to a human,” he said. “You don’t get tech support.”

When the Kewanee, Illinois, man lost his job in August, he turned to the IDES website. But instead of help, he found Klingon as a language option.

“To see this, it becomes a slap in the face,” he said.

Yes, Klingon, the language of fictional villains from “Star Trek.”

IDES says it got a positive response and boosted website traffic from a free Microsoft service.

But Dilts isn’t laughing. After battling faulty passwords and phone numbers, he faces losing his home.

“How does this make them look?” he asked. “They do not look professional.”

Dilts just want to make ends meet, let alone to live long and prosper. To him, this Klingon communication is no joke.

“They make it sound like just because you’re unemployed, this is going to make you laugh,” he continued. “It does not.”

IDES is already under fire for policy changes at its Rock Island office. The agency is driving clients to a website that frequently locks up while offering bad practical jokes.

“When they’re running into those kind of roadblocks on the internet or on the phones, it’s just that more hard to do,” said Moline Township Supervisor Don Johnston.

There was more bad news in Thursday’s mail for Dilts.

“You have been rejected for benefits,” he read.

His unemployment application was turned down. It will force him to appeal and fight the system again.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Convicts Collecting Millions In Unemployment Compensation

Prison Inmates Collecting Millions In Unemployment Cash – Pajamas Media

Overpayments in the unemployment insurance system cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year, including millions of dollars in benefits going to convicts in prisons across the nation, according to a House panel.

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The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources held a hearing focusing on ways to “end cash for convicts” and improve the integrity of the unemployment insurance system.

Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), the subcommittee’s chairman, said reports from several states suggest that millions of dollars have been paid wrongly to individuals who are not able and available for work because they are incarcerated.

“New Jersey, there were 20,000 inmates who collected over $24 million. In Illinois, another $2 million was misspent this way. Millions more were wasted in South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin,” Reichert said. “It is an injustice that the tax dollars of law-abiding citizens are paying for these benefit checks for people who have broken the law and simply should not qualify for these benefits.”

Reichert, a former sheriff, introduced a bill in July that aims to block states from paying unemployment benefits to prisoners. The Permanently Ending Receipt by Prisoners (PERP) Act would also instruct states to use currently available prison data to make sure they are not paying benefits to inmates.

Reichert said some improper payments are being made to prisoners because in many states, the inmates themselves are expected to report their new residence in prison, which would stop the payments. Not surprisingly, said Reichert, few inmates volunteer to stop collecting these checks.

The UI program’s emphasis on expediting delivery of the checks before verifying that they are going to the right person has been one of the main problems driving this issue. Better use of data systems could prevent these sorts of improper payments from being made, Reichert said.

Pennsylvania’s secretary of labor, Julia Hearthway, said her state has stopped more than 4,000 unemployment compensation claims during the year’s first quarter by using a checking system designed to stop inmates in county and state prisons from receiving unemployment benefits.

Hearthway explained that when a new inmate enters a prison, the system automatically compares the person’s information with unemployment compensation rolls maintained by the state’s Department of Labor. If a match is found and verified, the individual is removed from active unemployment compensation benefits status.

The system is projected to bring savings of more than $100 million this year. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor bases its savings estimates by calculating the average duration of an unemployment compensation claim and average weekly benefit with the number of stopped claims.

The department is also cracking down on unemployment compensation fraud by using software to block claims using foreign Internet Protocol addresses and foreign area codes, said Hearthway. Nearly 4,000 foreign IP addresses were blocked during the first six months of this year.

Hearthway said Pennsylvania has two provisions that prevent people from collecting benefits while incarcerated. One is the broader federal requirement that a person must be ready and available to work, and the other is the state’s explicit ban on incarcerated individuals from enrolling in the benefits program.

The benefit payments to convicts are only one small aspect of the broader issue of improper UI payments.

“The total cost of abuse in this system that can go to those folks that really need it is $58 billion,” Reichert said. “That’s the total amount of UI improper payments over the last five years.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the improper payment rate in fiscal year 2012 for unemployment insurance benefits was 11.4 percent, or $10.3 billion out of $90.2 billion.

The federal-state UI program, created in part by the Social Security Act of 1935, is administered under state law based on federal requirements. The program provides temporary, partial compensation for lost earnings of eligible individuals who become unemployed.

Applicants of UI benefits must have earned at least a certain amount in wages or have worked a certain number of weeks to be eligible. In addition, these individuals must be available for and able to work, and actively search for work.

Most of the overpaid funds end up in the hands of three types of people: those who continue to file claims even though they have returned to work, those who are not actively searching for a job, those who were fired or quit voluntarily.

The UI overpayment typically results from an administrative error.

“Most of the overpayments in the UI system are for reasons of non-fault. Either because there was agency error, employer error, or claimant error,” said Sharon Dietrich, a managing attorney for Philadelphia-based Community Legal Services.

Dietrich said that fewer than one out of four overpayments were found to be fraudulent. She said unemployment compensation fraud cannot be tolerated, but urged that it be examined in the context of overpayments of benefits.

“Sometimes, there is a tendency to conflate fraud with overpayments, the latter of which are all circumstances in which people received UI benefits for which they were later determined to be ineligible. In the vast majority of cases, these overpayments are ‘non-fraud,’ meaning that the worker was not intentionally trying to defraud the system,” Dietrich said.

She said overpayments cover all situations where people receive unemployment compensation benefits for which they are later determined to be ineligible.

Dietrich also noted that overpayment of unemployment compensation benefits is on the rise because of inadequate federal funding for state programs, which leaves administrators and staffers overburdened.

Valerie Melvin, an official at the Government Accountability Office, said that state agencies rely on outdated information technology systems to collect and process the tax revenue that funds the UI program, determine eligibility, and administer benefits.

“The majority of the states’ existing systems for UI operations were developed in the 1970s and 80s. Although some agencies have performed upgrades throughout the years, many systems are reported to be outdated, costly, and difficult to support, and incapable of efficiently handling workload demands,” Melvin said.

Dietrich urged the panel to put an emphasis on improving criminal justice system databases so the information used to identify incarcerated persons is up to date and reliable. Nevertheless, she said there are more significant ways to avoid or reduce UI overpayments.

“While I understand the outrage around people who are incarcerated collecting benefits, clearly this is a small subset of claims that are found to be fraudulent, much less overall overpayment numbers,” she said.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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You know what would really help our economy?

A time machine. See with a time machine we could all go back to 1979. Why 1979? Well Chris Wysocki figures that today’s “bright” economic news, unemployment hit 7.5%, would really be good news, if this was 1979.

Good news America! The unemployment rate has dropped again! It’s now at 7.5%, and employers are adding more jobs than ever!

U.S. employers added 165,000 jobs in April, and hiring was much stronger in the previous two months than the government first estimated. The job increases helped reduce the unemployment rate from 7.6 percent to a four-year low of 7.5 percent.

The government revised up its estimate of job gains in February and March by a combined 114,000. It now says employers added 332,000 jobs in February and 138,000 in March. The economy has created an average of 208,000 jobs a month from November through April — above the 138,000 added in the previous six months.

Alas every silver lining has a cloud. Or 2.

First, the workforce participation rate remains stubbornly stuck at 63.3%, the lowest it’s been since 1979. Because once you’ve given up, you’ve given up. And your president has likewise given up on you.

Second, and perhaps more ominously, ObamaCare is pushing more and more people into part-time work.

Many part-timers are facing a double whammy from President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The law requires large employers offering health insurance to include part-time employees working 30 hours a week or more. But rather than provide healthcare to more workers, a growing number of employers are cutting back employee hours instead.

See! Even good news is bad news in Obamaland. So, would we REALLY be better to go back to 1979? Well, in 1979, Carter was president, and things were not great at all. But there was no Obamacare looming over us, and do you recall what happened the very next year? Yep, Reagan was elected! Also, there was no MSNBS, no reality TV, of course there was no internet, and no blogs, so, what would I be doing with my time?

 

Kansas Governor Signs Law Requiring Welfare, Unemployment Recipients To Take Drug Tests

Brownback Signs Bill That Requires Welfare, Unemployment Recipients To Be Tested For Drugs – Wichita Eagle

Calling drug addiction a “scourge in Kansas,” Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law Tuesday a bill to test welfare and unemployment recipients suspected of using illegal drugs.

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“This is a horrific thing that hits so many people,” he said. “What this effort is about is an attempt to get ahead of it and, instead of ignoring the problem, start treating the problem.”

The drug testing bill lets the Department for Children and Families require urine tests of any welfare recipient suspected of using illegal drugs. That could be triggered by a person’s demeanor, missed appointments or police records.

Opponents of the bill said that may leave the decision open to people’s biases. But the bill was swiftly approved by the House 106-16 and backed by the Senate on a 29-9 vote.

Senate Vice President Jeff King, R-Independence, called it “the most treatment-focused drug testing bill in the entire country.”

Any person who is tested and failed, can request a second test and be reimbursed for that test, which runs about $50, if they test clean.

Welfare recipients who fail the test will lose their benefits until they complete a drug treatment and job skills program. That’s paid for by federal welfare funds. A second failed test will result in a year-long loss of benefits. A surrogate can apply for benefits on behalf of children whose parents fail a drug test and lose benefits.

Senate Bill 149, effective July 1, also bans anyone convicted of a drug-related felony from getting welfare for five years. Those convicted a second time lose benefits for life.

The testing program for unemployment recipients is similar, although Department of Labor officials will require employers who usually drug test job applicants to submit a list of people who applied and didn’t get a job because they failed a pre-employment drug screen.

The testing, already required of the governor and several other top state officials, now also extends to House and Senate members suspected of illegal drug use.

The tests will not look for alcohol use.

Officials acknowledged they have no precise number of how many people getting welfare or unemployment use drugs or how many people will require government-funded treatment and job training.

“I’ve not found a piece of legislation I’ve been around yet that is perfect,” Brownback said. “But this starts to address a significant issue.”

King said about 8.5 percent of those applying for welfare fail substance abuse screening.

Kansas is one of dozens of states that have been considering such drug tests. Florida required all new applicants to take such tests, as opposed to Kansas’ plan that hinges on “reasonable suspicion.” Data showed that program provided no direct savings to the state and only 2.6 percent of those tested failed tests, usually for marijuana use.

Marijuana, which is now legal for recreational use in two states and for medicinal use in several others, tends to be detectable in standard urine drug tests for much longer after use than drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine that cycle out of the body faster.

Kansas officials have yet to decide on the details of how the testing and treatment will be done. Testing would begin by Jan. 1. Anyone convicted of a drug-related felony after July 1 would lose welfare benefits for five years.

The state estimates it will need to hire four more employees to deal with drug testing and treatment management under the bill. The drug testing program and treatment is estimated to cost about $1 million the first year, after any savings from people losing benefits.

Brownback and King pointed to a program called Partners in Change at Neosho County Community College as a model for job skills training.

Neosho college president Brian Inbody, who attended the bill signing, said the six-week program was started by businesses who couldn’t find a steady flow of skilled workers. So they started a program to assist the “chronically unemployed.”

He said the first three weeks is about crisis management and attitudes toward the workplace. It then focuses on resume writing, math and English. He said 72 percent of those who completed the program kept a job for a year or got an industry certification to get a job.

“They went from unemployable and constantly churning in the system to employed and from a tax consumer to a taxpayer in just a few weeks,” he said.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Government Doled Out $10.3 Billion In Improper Unemployment Payments In 2012

Government Doled Out $10.3 Billion In Improper Unemployment Payments In 2012 – CNS

The Federal-State Unemployment Insurance program paid out $10.3 billion in benefits in 2012 to people who should not have received the money, according to the Department of Labor (DOL).

The data provided on the government website, paymentaccuracy.gov, shows those payments amount to 11.42 percent of all the unemployment insurance checks handed out – an increase from 11.36 percent in 2011 and in excess of the government’s “target” for overpayments of 9.66 percent.

The DOL states that most of the data reported on its paymentaccuracy website was for the federal government’s fiscal year, which runs from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, but that some data may have come from calendar year tabulations, which is why the department “used the term fiscal reporting year to best describe the time period in which the most current information was reported.”

The data also show that improper unemployment insurance payments increased steadily between 2009 and 2012, from 10.3 percent to 12 percent, respectively.

That percentage dropped 0.6 percent between 2011 (12 percent) and 2012 (11.4 percent), according to the DOL, which consequently forecasts that improper payments will fall below 10 percent in 2013 and 2014.

As reported by CNSNews.com, statistics released by DOL show that of the $10.3 billion in improper payments, the states improperly paid more than $5 billion for the period July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. (See DOL spread sheet on states payments.xls)

The “program contents” portion of the website states that 70 percent of the $10.3 billion that was paid out in 2012 was done so through one of three scenarios: “individuals did not meet their active work search requirements, continued to claim UI benefits after they had returned to work, or were ineligible for benefits because they voluntarily quit their jobs or were discharged for misconduct.”

An estimated 2.85 percent of state and federal improper unemployment payments were the result of fraud, according to the DOL.

The government website states that unemployment “helps cushion the impact of economic downturns and brings economic stability to communities, states, and the nation by providing temporary income support for laid off workers.”

The website also promotes the government’s efforts to end this trend.

“The reduction of improper payments in the UI program is a top priority of the Department of Labor,” the website states.

And the government is spending more money to that end.

“In fiscal year 2012 the Department awarded $169.9 million in supplemental funding to 33 states for the prevention, detection, and recovery of improper UI benefit payments; improve state performance; address outdated Information Technology (IT) system infrastructures necessary to improve UI program integrity; and enable states to expand or implement Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) programs,” the website states.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

Are Obama voters stupid?

Let me put it this way. They KNEW about the high unemployment numbers, especially among minorities, and young voters, yet, they voted for Obama anyway. I would say that is, if not stupid, at least unwise

Obama supporters continue to suffer the most in the latest jobs report. Blacks, Hispanics and young adults suffer the most under this administration.

The national unemployment rate is 7.8% (not counting the millions who dropped out of the market.)

The Herald Online reported:

  • The overall unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds for December 2012 is 11.5 percent (NSA).
  • The unemployment rate for 18-29 year old African-Americans for December 2012 is22.1 percent (NSA); the unemployment rate for 18-29 year old Hispanics for December 2012 is 12.2 percent (NSA); and the unemployment rate for 18–29 year old women for December 2012 is 10.4 percent (NSA).
  • The declining labor force participation rate has created an additional 1.7 million young adults that are not counted as “unemployed” by the U.S. Department of Labor because they are not in the labor force, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs.
  • If the labor force participation rate were factored into the 18-29 unemployment calculations, the actual Millennial unemployment rate would rise to 16.3 percent (NSA).

Simply unbelievable