ETA News Release: [05/14/2009]
Contact Name: Jennifer Kaplan
Phone Number: (202) 693-5052
Release Number: 09-0535-NEW
U.S. Labor Department announces release of $137.6 million in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds to New York
WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Labor today certified for release $137,580,702 in unemployment insurance (UI) modernization incentive funds to the state of New York. New York qualified for the funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) by allowing workers to use their more recent earnings to be eligible for benefits. New York's approved application will be posted at the department's Employment and Training Administration Web site at http://www.doleta.gov/recovery/.
"New York recognizes the importance of having a UI program that meets the needs of the 21st century workforce," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "By using recent wages when determining eligibility for benefits, in addition to other New York workers, the state is helping those who are relatively new entrants to the workforce and now unemployed. This decision is not only beneficial for workers but is good for the state's economic recovery. With unemployment high and new jobs hard to find, it is essential that all Americans who have worked hard get the help they need."
The New York Department of Labor can use the funds to pay unemployment benefits or, if appropriated by the legislature, for administering its unemployment insurance program or delivering employment services.
"Unemployment in New York state is the highest it has been in decades. We have an obligation in government to do everything in our power to assist New Yorkers during this unprecedented economic crisis. I have made this a priority of my administration," said Gov. David A. Paterson. "New York is a nationwide leader in building a modern unemployment insurance program that responds to the needs of unemployed workers and their families. We are pleased that the federal government recognizes this, and that this influx in federal dollars is supporting these efforts. I also want to thank New York's congressional delegation on its outstanding work to make this a reality."
The Recovery Act made a total of $7 billion available in UI modernization incentive payments to states that include certain eligibility provisions in their UI programs. Each state can qualify for a share of those funds by showing that its law includes those provisions. Along with New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey and South Dakota have been certified by the Labor Department to receive a share of the funds.