Obama’s New Plan to Reduce Unemployment: Will it Work?
President Obama’s most recent proposal for reducing the nation’s unemployment rate includes seven basic programs and incentives he hopes will spur job training and job matching:
The Universal Displaced Worker Program (UDWP) is a proposed plan which would function to give workers who have lost their job due to closures, job cutbacks, or other economic reasons, necessary skills, job counseling, and job placement assistance. Official estimates show the program would be available to up to one million eligible workers per year. Under the program, eligible displaced workers would be eligible for up to $4,000 in training awards per year, for two years.
Workers receiving training through the program would also become eligible for up to $300 in weekly stipends for expenses such as child care, transportation, and other necessary expenses. The stipend would be available up to 78 weeks and may be combined with up to 26 of unemployment insurance benefits. Eligible UDWP participants may also qualify for up to $1,250 in allowances for the job search process and potential relocations.
Older workers aged 50 an older who are hired for full-time positions offering annual salaries less than $50,000 would be eligible to apply for wage insurance for a maximum of two years to offset wage losses from past jobs that may have paid less than their current position.
Under the new proposal, state and local career centers would become unified and give workers access to job-search assistance via an online tool or an 800 number. In conjunction with the state and local career services consolidation, the federal government plans to develop an American Job Center website that is intended to help people find jobs and training opportunities.