Unemployment extension 101: Why now is a good time for temp jobs
New federal unemployment extension benefits removed penalties for many people working temp jobs. What are the hottest temp jobs? Do they offer medical? We answer your questions.
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In fact, the higher the skill level, the hotter the demand from employers, says Janice Bryant Howroyd, the CEO of Torrance, California-based AppleOne, an international staffing company. She specifically says demand is good for individuals with experience in graphic design and engineering.Skip to next paragraph
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If I get a temp job will I receive vacations and medical benefits?
Low-skilled workers often don’t get these benefits. But, high-skilled workers may earn time off and bonuses the longer they work for a company, says Bill Driscoll, a Boston-based regional president at Robert Half International, which he says also offers access to health care benefits to many of its professional workers.
What’s the downside to working in a temp job?
First, the salary may be less since the staffing company will be getting a fee that will be factored into how much you will get paid. Secondly, if a company runs into a slow period, temps are usually the first to be let go. “We saw that in the last downturn when temporary help staffing started down in January 2007, well before the layoffs of permanent workers,” says Mr. Grubbs.
In the past, the unemployment compensation issue was also a detriment. What has changed?
Federal law has always required state unemployment agencies to reexamine a claimant’s unemployment benefits after 52 weeks. Before the EUC Fix was made, some claimants collecting federal extension benefits who worked part-time or took temp jobs could find themselves forced to start a new round of regular state benefits using their short-term jobs as their base. The end result: much lower benefits. But, now, individuals will no longer be penalized as long as certain thresholds are met.
What are those thresholds?
If wages earned on your temp job mean your new state unemployment benefit rate will be $100 or 25 percent less than your current (higher) weekly benefit amount, you would qualify for the higher federal rate. Otherwise, you will move to a new regular state benefits claim.
“Say someone had been getting $300 a week in federal unemployment insurance, and they would drop to $200 a week in state benefits after their temp work,” says George Wentworth, a policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project (NELP) in New York. “They would now be able to stay on the $300 federal rate because $200 represents a 33 percent drop in their benefit.”
Are all states required to adopt this change?
Yes, every state will have to honor the federal change. However, the impact of the change will vary by state because every state has different earnings qualifications.