Since last year, the federal government’s been offering funding to the states for work sharing, but “the response has been limited, and short-work programs continue to be little known, even in the states that offer them, and [state] governments have done little to publicize their existence.”
To try to turn this around, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has started a push to promote work sharing in the states. Last month, DOL launched a new user-friendly website, chock full of helpful resources, including best practices, model legislation, an implementation guide, a business outreach toolkit, and success stories.
CEPR has been writing and providing resources about work sharing since the depths of the Great Recession. CEPR’s Dean Baker has even teamed up with conservative economist Kevin Hassett to demonstrate that this policy has bi-partisan support. In fact, most of the 10 states that have passed work sharing laws since 2009 did so with bi-partisan majorities.
Let’s hope more states take advantage of the federal funding — it’s available only for a limited time — to put in place or improve work sharing programs. Not only will they help workers, employers and the economy right now, but they’ll also be better-prepared for the next downturn.