To find out all about Coronavirus-related unemployment benefits     

It is a cherished dream for any individual to have a good career so that one can pay bills on time, buy that dream home and car and enjoy financial freedom. Living life in the fast lane might not leave us anytime to think about possible hurdles.

What if something goes horribly wrong and those paychecks stop even before you retire? All your future plans and dreams come crashing down. That’s when disability insurance (DI) comes in. It provides an income to you and your family in case you are not able to work because of an injury or illness. Disability Insurance gives you the courage to dream without thinking about financial hurdles and you can stand on your own two feet till you reach your retirement and beyond.

What Is Disability Insurance (DI)?                                disability

Disability can be defined as a physical, mental or psychological inability to fulfill your occupational duties. It can be temporary or permanent.

Your ability to earn an income is usually considered your biggest asset. Disability insurance protects the beneficiary’s income against the risk that disability will make working impossible. It includes paid sick leave, short-term disability benefits and long-term disability benefits.

Disabilities Covered By The DI

Major illnesses, injuries and the conditions which one develops with age are also considered. Here are the major categories of illnesses that are covered by the DI.

  • Musculoskeletal Systems – Under this category major dysfunction of joints and spine related issues which disables a person from working are included.
  • Special senses and speech – Loss of vision or speech related issues.
  • Respiratory system – Conditions such as chronic pulmonary insufficiency, Cystic Fibrosis, Pneumoconiosis, Bronchitis etc are included.
  • Cardiovascular system – Chronic heart failure, Ischaemic heart disease, Peripheral arterial disease etc comes under this category.
  • Digestive system – Includes Short bowel syndrome (SBS), Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Chronic liver disease Gastrointestinal hemorrhaging from any cause etc.
  • Genitourinary Impairments – Impairment of Renal function, Nephritic syndrome with anasarca, persistent for at least 3 months despite prescribed therapy.
  • Hematological Disorders – Chronic anemia, Sickle cell disease or one of its variants, chronic thrombocytopenia.
  • Skin Disorders – Conditions such Bullous disease and chronic infections of the skin or mucous membranes, Dermatitis etc.
  • Endocrine Disorders – Hyperglycemia, Adrenal gland disorders, chronic hyperglycemia, Diabetes and other pancreatic gland disorders etc.
  • Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems: Category of Impairments includes Congenital Disorders that affect multiple body systems, non-mosaic down syndrome etc.
  • Neurological – Epilepsy, Brain tumors, Parkinson Syndrome, Spinal cord or nerve root lesions due to various causes.
  • Mental Disorders – Schizophrenia, paranoid and other psychotic disorders, Intellectual disability, Anxiety-related disorders, Somatoform disorders etc.
  • Malignant Neoplastic Diseases – Category of Impairments includes Soft tissue tumors of head neck, soft tissue sarcoma, Lymphoma, Leukemia etc.
  • Immune System Disorders – Systemic lupus erythematosus, Systemic vacuities, Systemic sclerosis, Polymyositis and dermatomyositis, Immune deficiency disorders, excluding HIV infection, Inflammatory arthritis etc.

What Are The Different Types Of DI?

Based on the nature and coverage one has six kinds of insurance to choose from.

Individual Disability Insurance

This insurance is for people who are self employed or entrepreneurs. The benefits and premiums may differ depending on the need of the individual in regards to the nature of profession, risk involved, state of residence. Higher the premium wider the coverage.

Business Overhead Expense Disability Insurance

Business overhead expense disability insurance is intended to refund a business for the overhead expenses incurred in case the owner suffers a disability. This insurance can help the owner with business expenses such as rent or mortgage costs, maintenance fees and other business related expenses.

Key-Person Disability Insurance

When a key person in a business becomes disabled, this insurance can give the business owner the benefits of continuing with the business transactions that the key person has left behind. This enables the business to move forward and go on without losing revenue and profit.

High-Limit Disability Insurance

This policy entitles the insured to a 65 percent income replacement benefit regardless of income level. This disability insurance is on top of a coverage and the most sought after.

Employer-Supplied Disability Insurance

This insurance is acquired by an employer for his employee. It is important to note that this insurance is only valid when the employee is hurt or disabled while working.

National Social Insurance Programs

The Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) is a United States law that requires employees to contribute a part of their earnings to fund Medicare and Social Security. Employees who have become disabled can receive this income insurance for at least one year. Income insurance payments begin on the sixth month of disability.

It is a program managed by the Social Security Administration that insures a worker in case of a mishap. Disability insurance offers income protection to individuals who become disabled for a long period of time, and as a result can no longer work during that time period. Employees, who’ve paid the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax for a certain amount of time, are eligible to receive the Social Security disability income insurance.

How Much Does It Cost?

Disability insurance can be purchased as an individual policy or can be acquired by an employer for the employees. The cost of the disability insurance vary based on many factors such as benefit period, age of the individual, nature of employment, income etc.

Individuals who purchase a disability income policy can expect to pay about 1 percent to 3 percent of their annual salary.
Employers generally provide short or long term group disability coverage which is deducted from an employee’s salary.

How To File A Claim?

If you have been insured by your employer under the social security scheme then you can go on to the Employment Development Department site and can file a claim online. It is the easiest, continent and secure method or you can file it through mail.

Eligibility criteria for DI

DI benefits can be paid only after you meet all of the following requirements:

  • You must be unable to work for continuous eight consecutive days.
  • You must be employed or have been actively looking for work at the time you became disabled.
  • You must have lost wages because of your disability or, if unemployed, should have been actively looking for work. You must have earned at least $300 from which SDI deductions were withheld during a previous period.
  • You should have been under medical supervision of a licensed doctor during the first eight days of your disability.
  • You must complete and mail a claim form within 49 days of the date you became disabled or you cannot avail the benefits.
  • Your doctor must certify you as disabled.

Do I Need Disability Insurance?

If you believe in having security and peace in life and have a job then yes you need to have insurance. A recent social security fact sheet states, “Just over 1 in 4 of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before reaching age 67.” And if disease or injury renders you disabled early in your working life, the lost wages can be worth much more than a house or a car.

Don’t go the way where life takes you, take life the way where you want to go. Let not uncertainties change your life. Get a Disability insurance and anchor your life to the safe harbours.

The latest data released by the Bureau of Labor statistics suggests that the jobless rate has gone down by 0.2 percent in the month of July.

In June the jobless rate was 7.6 and has fallen to 7.4 in July, the lowest rate since December 2008.

The private sector added 161,000 jobs in July. This sector was expected to add at least 195,000 jobs after a prior estimate of 202,000.

Most of the gains were in retail trade, food services and bars, financial activities and wholesale trade. The government, which has been shedding jobs for months under tighter budgets, added 1,000 jobs.

Is The Unemployment Rate Coming Down?

Though the data shows a progressing economy, is this scenario a reality? A closer look at the labor participation tells a different story.

Ever wondered how is this unemployment rate calculated. How is the jobless rate going down when so many of your friends and relatives are unemployed? What is the “real unemployment rate”? And, should you believe the numbers?

If you are thinking about the same then yes, here is something you must know about the jobless data, and how BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) functions?

On the first Friday of every month, the BLS releases its unemployment assessment. The report contains employment data from the previous month and is made up of two figures. The jobless rate and the total nonfarm payrolls  which consist of general government employees, private household employees, employees of nonprofit organizations that provide assistance to individuals, farm workers.

The government determines these figures by collecting information from a large sampling of individual households and employers.To find out who’s working and who’s not, two aspects are considered.  First, the Census BLS surveys about 60,000 household and only questions about employment are asked.  This is what’s called the household survey.

At the same time, it checks in with nearly half a million worksites. They gather the information on how many employees were on the payroll the month before.

Then the independently collected data is compiled and the jobless rate is calculated and released in the following month.

What Is The Real Unemployment Rate?

The real unemployment rate should include all those who are not working, exhausted their state and federal unemployment benefits, people who have given up looking for job, all those who are willing to work full time but fail to land up a job and take up part time work, unemployed youth and every measurable data which contribute to the labor force of an economy.      no-job

But the labor department figures do not count those who do not apply for unemployment benefits because:

They no longer qualify for unemployment benefits

Never qualified for unemployment benefits because they have never been able to find a job.

People who are underemployed in terms of hours, pay, benefits etc.

Who are grossly overqualified for their jobs such as people with university degrees bagging groceries, working at fast food joints, driving trucks etc.

The Labor Department figures do not count people who are unable to enter the labor market, those who have given up looking for work, or who never had the chance to enter the labor market, such as teenagers and young adults.

To get an accurate data the “U-6” data has to be taken into consideration. The “U-6” unemployment rate, which adds together unemployed people, those who are working part-time because they can’t find anything better, and some people who have recently just given up looking for work in despair.

Though the figures show a glossy picture the reality is striking.

Jim Morris (name changed to protect identity of the person) says “In the town I live in, there are more and more people standing on highway medians with homemade signs saying something like “please help, homeless, veteran, will work for food etc.” I know it’s not a scientific survey and the situation indicates that things are going in the wrong direction. Every month when I look at the jobless figures it surprises me, though I know that it’s not a real picture.

The current U-6 rate for the month of July is 14 % down by 0.3 percent in comparison to June. Yet not a great improvement.

On the recently released data, Barclays Capital economist Peter Newland called it “a clearly weaker-than-expected report,” The Associated Press reports. He adds: “But one should not overstate it — the jobless rate continues to trend down and average job growth of 175,000 will be more than enough to continue to push it lower.”

When we refer to “economic recovery”, we generally look for restoration of confidence which is not happening in the current job market. Therefore there is a long road ahead for the economy to be back on track.

Unemployment rate in majority of the US states has gone up in the month of June. The National unemployment rate remains constant at 7.6 percent in may and june. Employers have added 195,000 jobs in the previous month. But there is a sudden increase in jobless rate in the states.

The Labor Department said that unemployment rates rose in 347 large metro areas in June compared to the previous month. They fell in 12 and were unchanged in 13 states. In May, rates fell in 109 cities and rose in 243.

What is leading to a sudden increase in unemployment rate?

Many of the cities whose jobless rates have gone up have big Universities where students graduated in June and started looking for work. And also many of the University workers remain unemployed during the end of academic year leading to seasonal unemployment.

Among the 49 cities with more than 1 million population, Detroit had the highest unemployment rate at 10.3 per cent. That’s up from 9 per cent in May.

The economy is yet to recover and this addition to the employment market can lead to severe youth unemployment in the nation which is already worse hit. According to a recent poll, young Americans are finding themselves with fewer job opportunities as the recovery continues.

The poll, conducted by Gallup, discovered that only 43.6 percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 had a full-time job in June 2013. That rate is lower than the 47 percent of millennials who were employed full-time in 2012.

But there is a flip side to US unemployment problem there are 3 million jobs going vacant. Employers have failed to seek a right match for more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs alone.

The transportation, utilities and trades sectors have almost half a million jobs open, waiting for the right applicant. These positions are for vocational or skilled workers, who are in short supply.

Bill Begal, who runs a Rockville, MD-based disaster-cleanup company, told Bloomberg News that he has spent almost $2,000 since March on help-wanted ads in newspapers, websites, and state employment services up and down the East Coast to find sales and administrative staff.

“I want people to come out and work for me,” said Begal, 42, whose teams respond to hurricanes, such as Katrina in New Orleans and other natural disasters. “Where are they? I just don’t see it.”

There is also a growing need for tradesmen, such as auto mechanics, appliance repairmen, plumbers, electricians and more. Few young people are learning trades and when the older workers retire there are not enough skilled workers to replace them.

More young people should give the trades a longer look; salaries in many cases are quite good. And a student beginning his career immediately after high school has a four-year head start compared to classmates who start their job search after college.

“I need workers who have gone through trade school and have taken certain courses. But I see a lot of unemployed college graduates saddled with huge student loan debts. They don’t have the skills that I need,” he continued. “The lack of skilled technicians is slowing our growth to add markets as aggressively as we may want.”

Majority of the youth prefers to compete for better paying corporate jobs, which has led to these sectors going without having skilled workers.

 The miseries of high unemployment rate in North Carolinians gets worse with severe cuts in federally sponsored Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC). The state’s unemployment rate remains unchanged at 8.8 percent as per the reports released for the month of June by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, making it one of the top five states in the country.

EUC is a federal extension that provides additional weeks of unemployment benefits after you have run out of regular unemployment benefits provided by the state.

Apparently, NC happens to be the only state to cut off access to the federal EUC. A major slash in state unemployment benefits comes across as an additional blow to the unemployed. The state government has reduced the maximum amount of money that unemployed people can get each week from $535 to $350.

It is this change that cuts off  NC from the federal unemployment funds. States that change the average weekly benefit can’t get this money and this does not end here.

Until recently, the standard limit for state unemployment benefits was 26 weeks. But five states have lowered that number to either 19 or 20, and Georgia has reduced it to 18. Arkansas and Illinois have lowered their limits to 25.

With the new state law, North Carolina’s benefits end after 20 weeks. About 70,000 North Carolinians have already felt the impact of the change, effective from July 1, and an estimated 100,000 more are expected to face cuts in the next few months. These cuts will eventually leave an estimated 170,000 people with no source of income to live on.

These measures have been taken as an attempt to eliminate debt to the federal government of more than $2 billion.

“They are literally hurting people, and it is wrong,” said the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, the president of the North Carolina chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. “It’s about violating people’s deepest moral values. Even when you have a majority, you’re not allowed to violate moral values.”

These cuts have led to unrest and protests in the state. On July 22, more than 70 protesters were taken to jail during the weekly “Moral Monday” protests at General Assembly, bringing the total number arrested in the legislative session to 925.

“The unemployment benefit cuts are the first real-world impact of the radical, regressive agenda that this legislature has adopted. The pain is starting to be real,” said Penda Hair, a co-director of the Washington-based Advancement Project, a civil rights group that has provided assistance to Moral Monday organizers. “The momentum has built every week. I would expect to see large numbers of people turning out.”

The benefit cuts have some North Carolina legislators arguing that the decision to eliminate the federal benefits starting in July was rushed, especially given the fact that the EUC wasn’t set to expire until January.

“It’s not a time for us to turn our backs on the people who need help the most,” said Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-North Carolina.

But Rep. Julia Howard, R-Davie, said “Delaying the law until then could have burdened businesses and increased debt. The benefits cuts will encourage people to find work faster and then move to a better job as the economy improves,” she said.

“It may not be the job that you want or your career for the rest of your life. But to take a job, get back into the job market,” Howard added.

Of all the budget decisions made over the past years in the history of the United States “Sequestration” comes as the hardest blow.

Sequestration is across the board budget cuts to many federal sponsored programs including the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) to reduce spendings of the government and channelize the funds towards other programs. These monetary reductions were made under the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) are benefits available for eligible job-seekers who are still looking for work when their regular state unemployment insurance runs out after 26 weeks in most states. The maximum number of weeks to receive EUC benefits varies from 14 weeks to 47 weeks which is based on the state’s unemployment rate.

The cuts are to be made on the federal benefits only and the schemes sponsored by states will remain unaffected.

This sequestration is going to affect 2 million people who are currently receiving EUC. Due to this fiscal cliff the improving unemployment rate is likely to take a stroll and hit new highs.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 3.8 million unemployed workers would be affected by the sequester mandated benefit cuts during the remainder of the 2013, with the average recipient losing $400.

These cuts will not only make life even harder for many long term unemployed workers already suffering from the loss of jobs and incomes, but will also take more than $2 billion in consumer spending out of an economy still struggling with weaker demand. That’s likely to hurt local businesses and jobs, particularly in states with high levels of unemployment.

Organizations and companies have begun laying off workers, while many more have decided not to staff vacant positions. Schools on military bases are contemplating four-day weekly schedules.

Sequester cuts will impact education, public health, law enforcement, defense, food safety, aviation safety and security, and the national parks programs. It cuts total $85.4 billion, including $42.7 billion being cut from the defense budget and $28.7 billion in domestic discretionary spending.

These cuts will mean an automatic 6.4 percent cut to the most programs like National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), with no departmental or agency able to control how the sequester impacts individual programs.

Cuts of this level will be devastating to the public health infrastructure. It was reported that some hospitals have been turning away cancer and HIV patients as they can no longer afford to treat them with expensive procedures.

From an economic point of view this immediate and severe cuts have been broadly seen as a terrible policy measure. Sharp fiscal contraction in a weak economy is known to have negative multiplier effect on output resulting in slow growth. However the policy is expected to reap positive results in the years to come.

Similar policy of harsh government spending cuts imposed in countries like Spain, Greece, Ireland, Italy and Portugal has produced soaring and depressing rate of unemployment and deepening economic crisis.

Here is a table which contains more information on cuts being made state wise. Considering the unemployment rate and population of each state the government has divide the sequestration process into four quarters and depending on the quarter the rate and the date of implementation is different.

State EUC Sequestration Date Of Implementation
California 17.7% April 28
Illinois 16.8 % May 27
Nebraska 19.38% May 5
North Dakota 18.03% April 28
South Dakota 16.8% June 2
Pennsylvania 10.7% April 6
Maryland 22.2% July 6
Rhode Island 12.2% April 21
Massachusetts 12.8% April 28
Mississippi 12.8% April 28
Alaska 23.2% May 19
Arizona 16.8% June 2
Wyoming 23.08% May 26
Washington 21 % May 19
New Jersey 22.2% June 30
New Mexico 25% June 2
Ohio 16.36% May 5
Utah 17% April 28
Virginia 14.2% May 12
Colorado 18.22% April 28
Connecticut 19.2% June 16
Montana 19.58% May 5
New Hampshire 16.7% April 28
Alabama 12.8% April 28
Delaware 12.8% April 28
Hawaii 12.8% April 28
Massachusetts 12.8% April 28
Mississippi 12.8% April 28
Rhode Island 12.2% April 21
Texas 10.7% March 31

NOTE: Please note that each state needs to implement these changes and it will help to check the state unemployment site to know more about the amount reduced. This sequestration will only affect recepients of Emergency Unemployment Compensation. State unemployment benefit recepients remain unaffected.

California, one of the largest economies in the world. A state which represents one-tenth of nation and the place where the rest of the country looks for emerging trends.

A visible growth in the employment rate can be seen from the recent data released by Bureau of Labour Statistics in April 2013. California’s unemployment rate of  9 percent is a drop from 9.4 percent in March. It surely is a delight to see a drop of about 1.7 percent compared to 10.7 percent in April 2012.

The BLS report said that, year-over-year there is a decline in the state’s jobless rate. With the construction industry is leading the hiring surge, about 7,400 jobs were added in April and 44,800 throughout 2012, indicating a renewed strength in the state housing market.

“This is definitely consistent with a pattern of economic recovery and that’s what is important,” said Loree Levy of the California Employment Development Department. “Over the year, our unemployment rate has come down by 1.7 percent so it’s definitely trending in the right direction” he continued.

The unemployment rate fell to the lowest in four years according to the state employment development report, but the cities in California are going bankrupt one after another due to collapsing housing prices, prolonged high unemployment rate. This is leading to a declining revenue affecting the economy.

Inland cities of California are the worse affected with high rate of unemployment and housing foreclosures — 14.1 percent in Stockton, 17.2 percent in Merced and a staggering 23.7 percent in El Centro. The Los Angeles metro area has unemployment rate of 9.9 percent.

“The cities of California are in extreme distress,” says Joel Kotkin, a professor of urban development at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., a frequent critic of California fiscal policies. “You’re going to have bankruptcies, It’s almost inevitable” he says.

Can Fracking Help Californian Cities Get Back On Its Feet?

California has been a source of crude oil since a long time. The discovery of Monterey Shale, the country’s largest oil shale. It stretches under a large part of Central California, but this oil can be harnessed only through hydraulic fracturing shortly known as fracking. Fracking is a petrochemical extraction technique.

Fracking has also been pushed to the forefront in California in recent years, following the release of a report suggesting that over 15 billion barrels of oil are contained in the Monterey Shale – a sedimentary rock formation resting under much of Central California that may be unlocked using fracking or other related techniques.

“There is a new interest in regulating fracking this [legislative] session because the people are demanding it,” explained Kristin Lynch, a director at the environmental organization Food and Water Watch. He also added, “You look at the sentiment of Californians about global warming and moving to renewable and you see how fracking is a hindrance to that.”

While this method of oil extraction has been accepted with arms wide open in other parts of the country like North Dakota. It has been extensively debated about in case of California and the environmental concerns associated with it.

California is blessed with a huge oil reserve and yet is unable to harness it. Being considerate toward the environment might seem to be taking this state to a cliff’s edge. With a steady decline in unemployment rates, job market seems to have gotten better but serious measures are required to help the cities heading towards bankruptcy.

A right mix of natural resources, industries and skilled workers is the secret to a prospering economy and low unemployment rate. North Dakota is blessed with all of the above making it the state with lowest unemployment rate in the entire nation.

According to the data released by Bureau of Labour Statistics for the month of April, North Dakota has 3.3 percent of unemployment rate, up by 0.1 percent from the month of March. This is one of the three states whose unemployment rate rose.

The oil boom in 2008 changed the fortune of the state and the advancement in hydraulic fracturing generated plethora of employment opportunities attracting folks across the country to it. Hydraulic Fracturing is a technique used to safely extract natural gas.

The state’s unemployment rate has not touched 5 percent since 1987. It has the highest rate of GDP contribution towards the economy and also the fastest growing state in America. The boom in oil industry gave a super boost to real estate and other service related industries helping North Dakota to curb its unemployment.

Need For Faster Development

Living in a car may sound strange to you but this is the way of life in North Dakota. The city Williston does not have enough homes to accommodate the migrant population.

Economist Nancy Hodur, an associate research professor at NDSU (North Dakota State University), said there is a potential for 14,000 total new units in the boomtown.

“Some housing is getting better. Communities are building as fast as they can,”Hodur said.

Dormitory style barracks known as “man camps” have been built for oilfield workers who have migrated here for employment opportunities, but with poor sanitary facilities and they lead lonely lives.

Justin Glasgow, director of real estate investment banking at Robert W Baird, said the authorities in charge of the development of the state have a long road ahead.

Environmental Concerns And Oil Industry Domination Troubling The State

According to the MPR report, North Dakota is producing more than 700,000 barrels of oil per day and is second to Texas in domestic oil production in the nation, with energy production fueling a nearly $2 billion budget surplus in the state.

The technique used for extraction is  much debated issue.Hydraulic Fracturing  can cause irreparable damage to the earth and result in earthquakes in the long run.

 A report by the National Research Council, suggests that hydraulic fracturing is unlikely to trigger large earthquakes. However, the study does point to the risk of man-made seismic activity when waste water from the drilling is injected back into the ground.

“While the general mechanisms that create induced seismic events are well understood, we are currently unable to accurately predict the magnitude or occurrence of such events due to the lack of comprehensive data on complex natural rock systems and the lack of validated predictive models,” the study reports.

Hydraulic Fracturing in the veins and deep down the earth allows groundwater to come in contact with oil and leads to contamination. Naturally, the EPA and watch groups are up in arms against this environmental hazard which pollutes the air, contaminates the soil surface and pollutes water in a long run.

If many people still support fracking, in spite of all the drawbacks, it is because of the oil potential, an important factor to reduce dependence on imports. Together with horizontal drilling, fracking has made the economy of North Dakota a success.

On the other hand large number of migrants are working in oil fields while the other jobs are going vacant.
“People will come here to work for the oil companies, and they will make good money, but when they just come by themselves, you no longer have a teenager to work at McDonald’s, or a spouse who  might be a nurse at the hospital,” Ward Koeser, the mayor of Williston, said in a Bloomberg interview. “So the service sector is what’s really suffering right now.”

North Dakota has an opportunity to grow better if it manages to get manpower into other service industries as well. Unemployment rate would hit a new low and help establish a better life aiding faster development.

Unemployment rate has come down by 0.1 percent in the state blessed with wealth of minerals, bounty of tourism, exciting gaming industry. Is this showcasing an upcoming economy in Nevada? Not a great number experts say!

Nevada’s Unemployment rate has fallen by 0.1 percent in April compared to previous month. There has been significant improvement compared to last year which was soaring high at 12 percent. Currently the unemployment rate of Nevada is 9.6 percent.

The State Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation economist, Bill Anderson said, “Nevada is seeing advances in nearly all industries” in a year-to-year comparison.

In the Las Vegas area, total employment jumped to 898,700, or 3,400 more people on the job than in March. There were an estimated 132,400 people out of work, 2,200 less than in March.

“Even with improvements in nearly all corners of the economy, Nevada still has the largest ratio of underwater homes of any state in the nation, the highest labour market under utilizations rates and thus far, the percent of jobs recovered pales in comparison to other regions in the country,” Anderson said.

The figures may be indicating that Nevada is on path to economic recovery, but the bigger picture has a different story to narrate as Nevada has the nation’s leading unemployment rate at 9.6% in the month of April as released by Bureau of Labour Statistics.

Why Nevada Has The Highest Unemployment Problem?

The silver state is rich in natural resources. It is nation’s leading producer of  silver and other minerals like gold, silver, mercury, petroleum and diatomite are also extracted. The economy highly relies on tourism and gaming industry, mainly located in Las Vegas followed by construction and mining. These industries are highly volatile and hit hard during an economic slowdown resulting in unemployment problem.

The state’s job market typically saw an increase of about 7,300 jobs in March from the previous month, but this year only 4,400 jobs were added.Anderson said.

The leisure and hospitality industry, a key indicator of the health of Nevada’s vital tourism economy, added 2,200 jobs in March from February, and roughly 7,100 over the past months.

The Government Workers Rule the Roost Here

Nevada’s government employees are the highest paid in the entire nation, revealed in a recent study by Applied Analysis for the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce, and these do not include the other benefits offered to them.

The economy is struggling, state unemployment is highest in the Nation and private sector wages are flat. Yet in 2012, more than 22,000 of Nevada’s 132,000 public employees received at least $100,000 in total compensation. Five thousand received at least $150,000 in total compensation, and more than 1,200 received at least $200,000.

Police officers and firefighters dominate the list of highest-paid government workers.Two noteworthy trends in compensation data: NPRI President Andy Matthews said the number of city of Las Vegas firefighters earning more than $200,000 dramatically increased, from 79 in 2011 to 130 in 2012.

To increase the woes private businessmen and employers in Nevada are expected to be hit with higher taxes to pay off the money borrowed during the recession to cover unemployment benefits from the Federal Government.

The Senate Finance Committee approved two bills to pay off the interest on the loan and to issue bonds to retire the estimated $540 million owed.

Renee Olson, administrator of the state Division of Employment Security, said Assembly Bill 482 will permit the agency to add a temporary assessment to pay the $17 million in interest due to the government by September 30 this year.

That will increase the monthly employer assessment by 0.08 percent, or $22 per year per worker, she said. A second bill, Senate Bill 515, will permit the agency, with the approval of the state Board of Finance, to issue bonds to return Nevada’s unemployment fund to solvency.

It will be several months before the amount of the bonds to be issued will be decided. Olson said it plans to structure the bonds to achieve the lowest interest rate. When that becomes final, the employers may face another increase in their monthly assessments. But the amount has not been decided. The average unemployment tax now is 2.25 percent on the first $26,000 of a worker’s salary.

There is a feeling of discontent among the Nevadans regarding the increasing tax measures as their taxes are spent inefficiently. They suffer the burden of unemployment while Government workers seem to be enjoying a fat payroll.

Illinois has the country’s second highest unemployment rate first being Nevada. At 9.3 percent, it is two percent higher than the national average of 7.5 percent. The US is on its way to economic recovery but some states are still lagging in terms of fixing its unemployment rate.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The number of Illinois workers who have been unemployed for more than six months continue to push records higher, according to a recent study from the Centre for labour Market Studies at Northeastern University.

Apart from Illinois only Nevada has a worser unemployment rate because of its extensive dependence on only one industry, that is gaming, but Illinois has a diverse economy.

The state of Illinois released the unemployment numbers and they show jobless rates fell in nine out of twelve metros as compared to last year. According to Illinois Department of employment services, the largest  decline was evident in the Rockford, Kankakee and Chicago areas, which had been plagued by high unemployment rates.

The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking unemployment benefits. A person who exhausts benefits or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they are actively trying to find work. Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state rate.

Want to know how much  you will earn as unemployment benefits in Illinois? Calculate here.

The state lost a net 17,800 jobs in March, and the losses were widespread, occurring at a range of different types of employers. The trade, transportation and utilities sector lost 9,000 jobs, professional and business services firms shed 5,800 jobs, leisure and hospitality businesses cut a net 4,900 jobs, and positions at construction companies were down 1,300 for the month.The bright spot was educational and health services firms, which added a net 2,900 jobs.

The high share of long-term unemployed in Illinois makes it increasingly difficult to reduce the unemployment rate, said Tom Gimbel, CEO of Chicago-based employment agency LaSalle Network.

“The longer you are unemployed, the more difficult the task of finding a job will be in your specific field,” Mr. Gimbel said. “If you are willing to take a lower-paying job or a different type of job, it has less of an impact.”

The taxes also play a major role in the state’s employment rate. Illinois has the fourth highest corporate income tax in the industrial world which discourages companies from setting up. Positive measures by the state are required to facilitate industries and generate employment opportunities for Illinoisans.

Claims, & Benefits – Common Questions Series

What all information can I get through Unemployment Insurance Telephone Service?

What are the responsibilities of a claimant?

When should I apply for insurance benefits?

What is the source of unemployment benefits to pay the insurance amount?

Can all the unemployed be eligible for unemployment insurance benefit?

Will my employer be notified about the insurance claimed?

What is the benefit year?

What is an overpayment and why it is considered as overpayment?

What is Federal Unemployment Tax, who and how you need to pay for this tax?

What is the process on calculating the Unemployment Rate?

How is Unemployment Insurance funded?

  What all information can I get through Unemployment Insurance Telephone Service?

You can access the following information through telephone service:

  1. You can speak to the operator and get the details on address change process, hours of operations. In addition you can also know about,
  2. Filing a Tele query or obtaining payment information.
  3. Filing details on an initial or reopen claim.
  4. Details on overpayments, tax forms,
  5. Tax Refund Intercept Program and penalties or appeals.

In addition, the automated voice response will be available twenty four into seven days. There are different numbers available for different options. You can just follow some simple instructions and obtain the details you need.


  What are the responsibilities of a claimant?

No matter if you are just filing for or are currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits, you are required to fulfill the below mentioned fundamentals:

You should be able to work, available for work and you must make an active search for full-time work (Note-unless defined by Unemployment Insurance as a part-time worker).

Report all wages earned each week.

Report all monies received by you like vacation pay, severance pay, pension payments, etc.

You should be available or contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance when directed to do so.

Accept suitable work as defined by law;

File timely bi-weekly continued claims while requesting for payment.


  When should I apply for insurance benefits?

A. You can apply as soon as you become unemployed. Your application will become active from the day you claim for the insurance benefits, even if you are out of work since long.


  What is the source of unemployment benefits to pay the insurance amount?

A. Funding source for unemployment insurance company is benefited from the taxes paid by employers.


  Can all the unemployed be eligible for unemployment insurance benefit?

A. No, all unemployed are not eligible for benefits, you must earn sufficient wages during a specified monetary time. To receive the benefits, you must meet certain legal unemployment eligibility requirements.


  Will my employer be notified about the insurance claimed?

Yes, The Company will contact your employer in order to obtain information that is needed to process your application for the benefit process.


  What is the benefit year?

The benefit year is a one year period beginning with the Monday following the week you file your valid original claim. You may be paid up to 26 weeks of benefits during a benefit year.

The benefit year is a period of 52 consecutive weeks. It begins on Sunday of the week in which your application is filed. Your claim is good for one year.


  What is an overpayment and why it is considered as overpayment?

Overpayment is the benefit provided for the purpose which you were truly not eligible for unemployment compensation. Over payments are generally considered as the amount paid in error which might be because of your fault or by the State’s Unemployment fault. In case if you are overpaid then a notice will be served to you holding you responsible for repaying the overpaid amount within a reasonable period of time. If it is not repaid then it will be automatically deducted in your future benefit payable.


What is Federal Unemployment Tax, who and how you need to pay for this tax?

Every year the federal unemployment tax needs to be paid by the employer which needs to be filed. The federal unemployment tax needs to be paid for any employee who have earned more than $1500 in a quarter/ base period or to the employee who have completed his/her at least 20 weeks of tax year.


  What is the process on calculating the Unemployment Rate?

In general to know the exact rate of Unemployment ration in the particular State you need to first know the exact number of unemployed workers with the total number of labor-force (number of people of working age and below retirement age who are actively participating in actively seeking employment). In United States the stats details can be collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To sum up the formula for calculating the unemployment rate (as percent):

Unemployment Rate = (Unemployed Workers / Total Labor Force) * 100


How is Unemployment Insurance funded?

Unemployment Insurance is sourced by the employed individual or by the former employers. In General employers are needed to pay for Unemployment Insurance fund Programme, but in rare cases the employees are also required to contribute a small portion as tax. This Unemployment Insurance is funded as beneficiary amount to help out workers who have lost their jobs with no faults of theirs.