Monday, April 14, 2008

UI Trust Or Bust

The Indiana Legislative Insight's Ed Feigenbaum warned his readers earlier this year that Indiana's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund was "moving steadily and inevitably in a negative direction" and might face a deficit within a few short years. As recently as 2000, the UI Trust Fund ran a balance of $1.6 billion according to Feigenbaum. With the recent rise in unemployment claims as the economy slips into recession, the Fund's balance at the end of March had dropped to $150 million and was expected to drop to the $100 million level this month according to Feigenbaum. The general consensus is that both the national and state economy are only going to worsen in the coming months and further deplete the Fund, which means the fund will become insolvent much sooner than earlier predicted.

If you're wondering just how the UI Trust Fund's balance could have slipped so badly during a period of sustained economic growth during which Indiana's unemployment rate has often sat below the national rate, you need to look at changes the governor and legislature made back in 2000. In that year, the benefits for the unemployed were increased while the taxes paid by employers were reduced Feigbenbaum explains. If the Fund's balance hits $35 million, which will likely happen, the state can begin borrowing from the federal government--money the federal government doesn't have to lend. Making matters worse, Democrats in Congress want to extend payments from 13 weeks to 26 weeks to aid the unemployed. What this means is that the Governor and the legislature are going to have to make some potentially unpopular decisions if a long-term fix to this problem is to be found.


M Theory said...

Won't the feds just print up a new batch of money to send the state when we run out? Isn't that how it all works now? Sort of like a stimulus program for a broke state government and its unemployed people.

Anonymous said...

My wife has been waiting almost four months now for a response to her unemployment claim. During that time she has been to at least four interviews, as well as an interview over the phone. One job just sent an e-mail stating the position was filled. These are basic jobs of administrative assistant that pay around $12/hr+. One job at an insurance company said that over 100 people applied for the job. Another job prosect interviewed her for a part-time position that will be full-time, even though she didn't apply. She would gladly take almost anything now. Her resume stands out because she has three years of similar work at the same company and has a college degree. My guess is that if a hundred or so people are applying for these positions, they are likely picking only 10-20% for further consideration. If she didn't have a college degree, I wonder if she would even be called. We are going to give unemployment one more week then she is going to go down and ask them what is up. The turn around time was supposed to be three weeks if I recall.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, not four months, four weeks!!

David C Roach said...

so riddle me this: Indiana is an "at will" state- we've all read the disclaimer paragraphs at the end of all job applications. then you sign your soul, and all your rights to your employer, so he can treat you like an economic slave, until he decides he wants someone else, or no one, for any reason, or no reason at all.
Then we have the "workforce development"/work one system- where its like a gravy train lottery- and the people who/ve paid into the system for years, no when tye need a few dollars back, never seem to qualify. and then in fort wayne theres a racket called "jobworks" - it doesnt find you any jobs- just gets money from the state, to tell you how to fill out applications (for jobs that dont exist)and answer interview questions(if you even get called at all)and other legalized fraud.
then we have the administrative adjudication system, where you- the at will employe, and your at-will employer get to argue why you should get your "UI lottery ticket punched", and why the at will employer shouldnt have to pay you, as per the several disclaimer paragraphs you signed at time of hire.
seems to me, unemployed people always seem to find a job just a week or 2 before their benefits expire anyway( because for the previous 6 months+ extensions) they have been working for cash under the table, undeclared.
the sooner we get rid of the UI scam ,and we all realize that work is a gamble, and you're lucky if you work at all, and hold our elected politicians accountable for the laws they make, to assure our continual economic prosperity, the better off we all will be.
by the way- i'm not unemployed- I'm working the corner of main street, as a self employed fundrasier- see my sign? off shored veteran, college degree- hoping for change....
yes- i can pass a piss test, no, im not a felon. credit-sucks. but wal-mart, mc donalds, that tixic waste factory is hiring- heavy lifting, dangerous machinery, carcinogenic fumes- 12 hr shifts, 6 days a week, minimum wage, no benefits, for 89 days at a time is hiring. I love Indiana. dont you?