August 2, 2009

A Program to Help Unemployed Rhode Islanders

Justin Katz

In yesterday's Providence Journal, Neil Downing reported on the thousands of Rhode Islanders who are running out of unemployment benefits, after being unemployed for up to 79 weeks, or about a year and a half:

In response, the state Department of Labor and Training, the agency which administers unemployment benefits, began mailing notices on Friday that offer people tips on where they can turn for help when their benefits run out, said agency director Sandra M. Powell.

The initial mailing is going to about 3,200 people, including those who have already exhausted their benefits, and those who will run out of benefits soon. Hereafter, the agency plans to mail the notices to about 150 people a week. The notices provide information on how to obtain food stamps, government-sponsored health insurance and other assistance.

I propose that the DLT's packet ought also to include information assisting recipients in find work in other states and relocating. If Rhode Island hasn't managed to create a job for a particular person in eighteen months, the best advice that person can receive is to find a location with an economy that can provide work.

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Of course, in this economy, selling one's home is equally as difficult. Moving to a new location might not be that easy.

Posted by: mikeinri at August 2, 2009 12:12 PM

It would be great for all sides if the people who suggest Rhode Island should give people assistance in leaving Rhode Island go themselves. The constant whining about going elsewhere is just as toxic as anything our elected officials do.
Just go, mmmkay? After all, the grass IS always greener on the other side of the fence, right?

Posted by: rhody at August 2, 2009 1:29 PM

rhody, we have high taxes and very high unemployment as compared to much of the rest of the country. So, yeah, the grass IS greener elsewhere. It's just not as easy as hopping the fence when the real estate market is in the tank as well.

Posted by: mikeinri at August 2, 2009 1:58 PM

OK, Rhody. Why don't you explain why it is in the best interest of a person who has been unable to find work in Rhode Island for a year and a half to remain here? Also, who is it in the best interest of the state to usher that person into the dependency system?

Posted by: Justin Katz at August 2, 2009 2:36 PM

Selling a house is tough these days in RI. Who is going to buy your house, or come into your rental? I have had friends who moved because of employment issues a year ago. The lucky ones were able to sell, but not at the price they their home was assessed at, in a few months. I still have friends who still have their house on the market a year later, and that includes having reduced the price a couple of times. Rentals are available in record numbers, and even with the deals, of a month free rent, they don't have renters. There are folks I know who own rental properties and have finally put them on the market because it's costing them a fortune in their empty state.

Rhody, it's not whining, it's fact, people are leaving because there isn't anything here for them. How long do they wait for another job and things to improve before they are forclosed on, or are paying COBRA health on their credit cards?

Posted by: kathy at August 3, 2009 11:21 AM
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