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Saving Jobs in a Recession: How Work Sharing Can Help

Friday, December 11, 2009

Work sharing helps employers avoid layoffs during a downturn by cutting work hours and spreading the remaining work among existing employees, who receive pro-rated unemployment benefits. Work sharing may be particularly beneficial for older workers, who often find it more difficult than younger workers to find a job after a layoff. Seventeen states have active programs that permit the use of unemployment funds to support work sharing. In addition, the governments of a number of developed countries promote work sharing as a way to save jobs in a weak economy.

This forum looked at what’s needed to create successful work sharing initiatives; what we can learn from national best practices and international models; and policy considerations at the state and federal level for promoting work sharing.

Read a Transcript of the Forum

See the Webcast

Speakers at the forum included:

How Work Sharing Works: Insights from the U.S. and Abroad

Sara Rix, AARP Public Policy Institute (Moderator)

Neil Ridley, Senior Policy Analyst for Workforce Development, CLASP

Jon Messenger, Senior Research Officer, Conditions of Work and Employment Program, International Labor Organization (ILO)

Work Sharing Perspectives from the Trenches

David Balducchi, Manager and Program Analyst, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor (Moderator)

Bruce G. Herman, Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Development, New York State Department of Labor

Marc Baldwin, Economic and Policy Analyst, AFL-CIO Working for America Institute

Markus Franz, Counselor, Labor and Social Affairs, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany