emergency unemployment compensation work?
(Information as of 2012)With
unemployment rising quickly in 2008 President George Bush signed a bill to approve the extension of federal
unemployment compensation. That meant that the
federal government would continue to provide money to dislocated workers who had
exhausted their state benefits. The federal government breaks down levels of
assistance into “tiers”. We started hearing about the “99ers”; people would
qualify for 99 weeks of compensation. Many people wrongly assumed that anyone
who was unemployed would receive 99 weeks of benefits. There are three important
things to know about
federal unemployment tiers and extended
The four tiers of emergency unemployment compensation
The first thing you want to understand is the
number of tiers and the number of weeks assigned to each
tier. As of this writing in late April 2011
there were 4
tiers, that are scheduled to be in effect,
based on your state's
unemployment rate, until
January 3, 2012. Here are the numbers of weeks
assigned to each
EUC Tier I is for up to 20 additional weeks if you have exhausted regular UC
benefits. This level is contingent on the phase out deadlines.
EUC Tier II is for up to 14 additional
weeks and is contingent only on the phase out deadlines.
EUC Tier III is for up to 13 additional
weeks if your state’s previous 3 month average is 6% or higher.
EUC Tier IV is for up to 6 additional
weeks if your state’s previous 3 month average is 8.5% or higher.
This means that if you have exhausted your 26 weeks of state
benefits you are eligible to begin Tier 1 which would provide you up to 20 more
additional weeks of compensation.
The second important factor is your own state’s unemployment rate. The reason
you keep seeing the words “up to” is because these additional weeks of
compensation are contingent on your state’s
rate, not just the country’s
You will be eligible for fewer tiers as your state's
falls. Key milestones are at or above 8.5%, 6%-8.4%, and below 6%. For example,
tiers will begin to phase out in your state as the unemployment rate moves from
to 8.4% to and 5.9%. For example,
announced on March 14, that the three month average
had fallen to 8.4%, thus the 6 weeks of
Tier 4 benefits
were being eliminated as of April 2, 2011.
Extended unemployment benefits through your state
Thirdly, note that federal emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) is paid before
extended benefits (EB)
are paid. EUC is a federal initiative. EB is a state initiative. If you have
been unemployed long enough to exhaust your initial state benefits and then the
tiers of EUC, you may
extended benefits through
In Pennsylvania, for example, if you’ve gone through all the tiers of federal
unemployment compensation, and the average unemployment in the state for the
last three months has been 8% or higher, you will qualify for 20 more weeks of
benefits, at the same rate you have been receiving. If the three month average
was 6.5% to 7.99% you would receive 13 weeks. These benefits are paid from the
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry explained it this way in
February 2011, “The Pennsylvania UC Law was recently amended to increase the
maximum amount of EB a claimant may receive if Pennsylvania enters a ‘high
unemployment period,’ or HUP. A HUP occurs when Pennsylvania’s total
unemployment rate reaches 8 percent. Pennsylvania's total unemployment rate has
risen to the level necessary to create a HUP.”
“As a result of the HUP, if you were financially eligible for 13 weeks of
regular EB, your financial eligibility is increased to 20 weeks. If you were
financially eligible for 8 weeks of regular EB, your financial eligibility is
increased to 12.8 weeks." TQR
Resources, links, and articles regarding
unemployment & extended unemployment benefits:
Commonly asked questions and answers about unemployment
How the unemployed are scarred economically
Recession and lingering affects on unemployed
Signs that unemployment is around the corner
News about unemployment benefit extensions
Another explanation of extended unemployment benefits
Unemployed job seekers and appearance
Unemployed job seeker success stories
Who can file for unemployment benefits
If you are unemployed you should check your credit rating
How extended unemployment benefits can phase out
IRS tax benefits for the unemployed
Paying for tuition when unemployed
The Pell Grant
State tuition grants in PA
If you're unemployed consider the military
See how you score on the military's entrance test
Career Transition Center for the unemployed
Tuition reimbursement options for the unemployed
More tuition reimbursement options for unemployed
More tuition reimbursement for the unemployed
Unemployment rates based on education
Start your own business when unemployed
Information on starting business in PA
Self-employment for those on unemployment benefits
What you should know about self-employment when unemployed
Resources available when collecting extended unemployment benefits
If you're collecting unemployment benefits you can get a
2nd free credit report
Working at home is an option when you are unemployed
Unemployed in PA and need legal help?
Unemployed in Pittsburgh and need legal help?
If you are unemployed and need help with clothes for
Medical help for those collecting unemployment benefits
Assistance with food purchases
Legitimate work at home options
Property tax relief for seniors in Allegheny County
Medical assistance when you file for unemployment
How to get discounted generic medicine
COBRA coverage for the unemployed explained
Free medicine from Pfizer
Articles of interest to those collecting unemployment benefits
Employers wary of hiring those on unemployment benefits
How unemployment can affect health
What to do if you are laid off
How volunteering makes sense when you're unemployed
Scholarships for those on unemployment
Mismatch between skills of the unemployed and job openings
20% of job seekers use smart phones to find work
Top reasons why your resume may be rejected
Why workers become disengaged at work
How to create your own brand when looking for a job
6 things you should do if you become unemployed
8 Challenges The Unemployed Face
Discrimination against the unemployed.
There is an unfortunate growing trend of discrimination against the
unemployed, simply because they are unemployed.
This story reported that there are
employers / hiring managers that cling onto the old stereotype picture of an
unemployed person: lazy, apathetic, etc. The fact is that
14 million+ people lost their jobs during
the Great Recession through no fault of their own. Regardless, at this point it
would be a futile exercise trying to prove you've been discriminated against
because you were
unemployed. Rather, look for ways to avoid the topic. One
possible way to alleviate a hiring manager's "concern" is to use
a wingman in order to get the job.
2. Discrimination due to an employment gap.
This problem is similar to discrimination against the
unemployed as mentioned above, but different in
the fact that it is your period of time between jobs that employers are focusing
on. For example, you were laid off in January, struggled to find appropriate
work for 3 months, and finally settled for a part time job in a different
industry while continuing to look for meaningful work. The problem? There is a 3
month employment gap on your resume. Some employers will look at employment gaps
unfavorably, falsely assuming you were unproductive during that time and that
this would indicate you are not as hard working as they would like.
Here is a much better way of dealing with
3. High school and college kids looking for summer
You have to admire
high school and college kids were will work
during the summer. It can bring them extra money for school as well as good work
experience for after their education. Unfortunately, both job seeking adults and
kids lose in this category as both are competing for the work. The unemployment
among 16-24 year olds is 18.4%.
4. Baby Boomers who are postponing retirement.
May / June 2011 edition of The Quarter Roll
says that starting this year 19,000
baby boomers will turn 65 every day for the
next 19 years. However, with inflation fears and retirement accounts still
recovering from traumatic 2008 losses many baby boomers have been forced to
delay retirement and stay in their current positions. Those are positions that
would have otherwise been open for new hires.
5. Discrimination against those who have been bankrupt.
In March 2011 ConsumerAffairs.com posted an article that stated federal reported
that a federal appeals court ruled that it is ok for a private employer to
discriminate against a job seeker who has filed for bankruptcy. Don't believe
it? You can read the whole story
6. A disconnect between skills and available jobs.
Many millions of people who were laid off are finding that the skills that
served them well prior to the recession are
longer the skills many employers are looking for. There are
industries thriving and actively looking for employees, such as the information
technology and cyber-security industries, but are finding that many of the
unemployed simply don't have the
needed for the
7. Employers who are simply fishing for a good deal on
"What You Need To Know About The Job Interviewing Process", as seen in the
March / April 2011 edition of The Quarter Roll,
reported that advertising open jobs is some companies' way of conducting
inexpensive market research. They may want to meet you because you have an
interesting resume or worked for a competitor and can share insights. They may
just be looking for a highly qualified person who will work for a much
8. Currently 4 job seekers for every job opening.
The Baltimore Sun recently reported that there are still 4 job seekers for every
1 job opening. You can read the entire story
What you can do if you are
If you are
unemployed it is important to make yourself as attractive as possible
to potential employers. That means you should eliminate any questions about
employment gaps. Regardless of the reason why you were laid off
you should immediately find something else to do. Anything is better than
nothing. Even volunteer work on a regular basis can be put on your resume
in order to fill the employment gap. At the very least you are demonstrating
your willingness to work and be involved in a team. Additionally, a
recommendation from a common friend could be just what you need to thwart any
unemployment concerns a hiring manager had.
Making yourself stand out is more important now than ever before. You have high
school and college kids, baby boomers,
unemployed workers, and even dissatisfied
workers competing for the job you want. One
stand out is to have the technical and modern work skills
training that employers are looking for. Don't delay enrolling in some type of
higher learning while you are working a temporary job, volunteering, or looking
for work. Your local unemployment office or community college are great places
to ask for tuition free assistance.
What you should do if you are employed.
Consider the plight your
unemployed counterparts are facing. Review the
challenges listed above and
prepare yourself now in
the event you find yourself
looking for work. If you have meaningful work now
you are in a great position to get a head start by making yourself more
marketable in the workforce.
Will How I Look Affect Getting Job Offers?
When we write about job
interviewing a common question that is asked of our team is "Does one's
appearance affect the outcome of a job interview?". To answer that question we
found an example from a highly unlikely source: the 1993 movie Schindler's List.
There is a scene in the movie where Regina Perlman comes to Oscar
Schindler's factory to ask for an incredibly important favor. From his
office Schindler looked down at Perlman where she was standing at the
bottom of a long flight of steps. She was dressed in old clothes and she
was turned away without even a word from Schindler. The next day she
arrived with makeup on and was wearing a new hat and dress. She was invited up to
Oscar Schindler: So, what can I do for you?
Krause: They say that no one dies here. They say your factory is
a haven. They say you are good.
Schindler: Who says that?
Krause: Everyone. My name is Regina Perlman, not Elsa Krause.
I've been living in Krakow on false papers since the ghetto massacre. My
parents are in Plaszow. Their names are Chana and Jakob Perlman. They
are older people. They're killing older people now in Plaszow. They bury
them up in the forest. Look, I don't have any money. I-I borrowed these
clothes, I'm begging you - please, please bring them here.
Most certainly, pleading for help saving your parents' lives is a far
cry from applying for a job, but we can still see the advantage of Regina Perlman's strategy. The question of the affect of your appearance on
your job interview's outcome is like so many others; it is often
situational. The short answer is yes, looking good can enhance your
chances of getting a job offer. Here are some physical traits that can
help get you a higher paying job and some of the research behind this
White and straight teeth.
white, healthy looking teeth are
considered more intelligent, interesting, and successful.
If you're a man be 6' tall or higher.
Or if you are a woman be 3 inches taller than the other women around
Men who are at least 6' tall make an average
salary of $5,525 more than their shorter, 5'5 counterparts.
You're not overweight, especially if you are a woman.
When they are overweight, both sexes report smaller paychecks, but women in
particular are penalized. For women, a 1% increase in body mass results in a 0.6
percentage point decrease in
You are attractive, but not so attractive that it is distraction!
attractive people as more trustworthy
and honest without knowing anything else about them. However, if you are
incredibly more attractive then everyone else around you more people say
that can actually be a disruption in the workplace.
You smile a lot.
Again, we tend to trust those who smile and find them more attractive.
You're not bald.
63% of men report that hair loss or balding has negatively affected
You stand up straight.
A Harvard University study showed that good posture not only makes you
appear more successful and powerful,
but can suppress the stress
hormone cortisol, thus helping you relax in stressful situations.
You dress professionally.
If you don't, many
hiring managers perceive you as someone
who doesn't even care enough about yourself, let alone the company.
5 ideas for eliminating the employment gaps on your
If there is a gap in your employment you are immediately
at a disadvantage when applying for jobs. If you don't believe it, Google
"employment gap" or
discrimination" and read the news. Some employers have said
they're unwilling to hire
unemployed workers because they believe that if a
worker has once been let go, that's a sign that he or she is probably not a
great hire. Others believe that if someone is out of work for an extended period
of time, their basic
work skills (taking orders, showing up to work on time,
etc.) will erode and make them less valuable to the company.
When considering how your resume or work history looks to a potential employer
remember that a
gap in your employment looks like a black eye on an otherwise
attractive face. Their first question may be why do you have the
gap? In most
cases though you are not around to explain in your own words what happened. In
that case employers may tend to answer their own question with the biases listed
above. It is important to legitimately eliminate the
employment gap all
together. You must have something productive listed on your resume for current
activity. We'll see five examples below on how to do that.
Hours are not important. When was the last time you saw any resume that noted
how many hours were worked at the job? It doesn't matter how many hours you
spend doing the current productive activity you will be involved in. If you are
working 1 hour every day answering the phones at your friend's business, your
resume would show that you currently hold an administrative assistant position.
Your resume wouldn't say "I spend 5 hours a week helping out my best friend
1. Temporary work agencies.
Temporary work agencies are staffed by professional job finders. They are
employers all day long looking for work and are some of the
most networked people in the business world. Their first priority is to know
where the jobs are. Their next priority is to match you up with one of those
jobs! The beauty of working with a temp agency is the flexibility. You can find
work for one day or for many months.
While the library most likely will not pay you they will probably have something
you can do to help out. Larger libraries host a wide variety of programs for all
ages and segments of the community. One idea in particular is to be a mentor or
coach. Those are always in need. What can you teach others to do? Are you a
teacher - teach someone to read. Are you a software developer - teach someone to
use a computer, software, or the web. Are you a nurse - teach someone to eat
right or exercise properly. The list can go on and on. Go to the library, ask
for the library director, tell her what your skills are, and ask to be matched
up with an appropriate program. Then update your resume to say "Community
Coach", "Mentor", or "Consultant".
3. Chamber of
Job fairs are great because it is a large room loaded with hiring managers all
in one spot. It makes networking and job hunting very easy. The same is true
with your local chamber of commerce. A chamber of commerce will generally host
many business and community functions each month. Their priority is networking -
providing forums for everyone to meet each other and potentially do business.
Where do you fit in? Approach the chamber staff, tell them what your skills are,
and ask to be matched up with businesses or events that need temporary help.
Many of the chamber's business members would be eager to have you help them
through short term projects they are working on. In fact the chamber itself may
be able to use your
skills. Make sure your resume reflects your current work
with the chamber.
4. A part-time
Taking part-time work while searching for full-time work may benefit you with
additional income (you can earn x amount of money while unemployed without
losing your unemployment benefits) and having a current job to list on your
resume. Remember you don't list how many hours you work on your resume; you list
the jobs you are holding or have held. An employer reviewing your application
may not know you are only working 15 hours a week, but will see that you are a
working, that someone else believes you are
Holding a part-time job while you search for full time work could also provide
you with new skills, new contacts, and new ideas in addition to building your
resume and your household income.
5. College or
Upgrading your education or professional skills is a perfectly legitimate and
productive use of your time. If you chose this route be sure to list it on your
resume as your current activity. Also write what an employer will gain from
hiring you once you graduate with your new or upgraded skill set. Employers love
new graduates. It means they don't have to invest as much in your training and
you've just been educated in the most current practices within the industry.
make good employment gap filler?
"I just needed time off from work."
"I needed to care for my (fill in the blank)."
"I've been fixing up my house."
"I saw every game during March Madness."
"I took my kids to Disneyworld." TQR
Why education, unemployment, and salary expectations all
Thinking about skipping school? There are many reasons why
you should invest in
education, but your income potential is the most important one.
If you are between the ages of 16 and 24 consider what an
education means to the amount of money you have in your
pocket and bank account. The Economic Policy Institute says, "In 2010, the
unemployment rate for workers age 16-24 was
18.4%—the worst on record in the 60 years that this data has been tracked."
Additionally in 2010, "Young high school
graduates have been hardest hit: The
high school graduates
under age 25 who were not
school was 22.5%, compared with 9.3% for college graduates of the same age."
Salary expectations by education level (2010).
Less than high school
$444.00 per week / 14.9% unemployment
$626.00 per week / 10.3%
$712.00 per week / 9.2%
$767.00 per week / 7.0%
$1,038 per week / 5.4%
$1,272 per week / 4.0%
$1,610 per week / 2.4%
$1,550 per week / 1.9%
Unemployment rates by education level.
Unemployment rate for those with no high school diploma: 14.3%
Unemployment rate for those with a high school diploma: 9.6%
Unemployment rate for those with some college: 8.2%
Unemployment rate for those with a college diploma: 4.3%
Source: August 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table A-4