state jobsThe U.S. Department of Labor has offered guidance for state demonstration projects in order to find effective strategies to connect the unemployed with jobs. This guidance is a key first step in the first true overhaul of the Unemployment Insurance systems in many years. The overhaul has been made possible by the newly passed Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.

Due to the reforms brought on by the new law, up to ten states will be allowed to use federal funding, or Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds, to implement strategies that hasten the ability for unemployed workers to find a good job.

“This administration is committed to finding new and innovative ways to turn the unemployment system into a re-employment system, and state programs can play a crucial role in doing so,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “These projects will help improve services, lower costs and provide crucial worker protection measures to ensure that employers who follow the rules are able to compete on a level playing field.”

States that are approved for DOL aid will, in turn, either demonstrate and evaluate methods for accelerating re-employment of workers eligible for unemployment insurance benefits or demonstrate projects that improve a state’s effectiveness in the application of its unemployment laws and re-employment procedures. State projects will be selected on a rolling basis.

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in State Labor Stats]