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In this issue..
WorkOne LaPorte was named the 2010 Host Agency Champion for older workers in Indiana by Experience Works. WorkOne was recognized for the on-the-job training opportunities provided to older workers. The training has helped older workers learn the skills they need to land good jobs in the community, while building their resume.
Experience Works is the nation's largest nonprofit training and employment organization for older workers. They provide job training to low-income older workers in Indiana through the Senior Community Services Employment Program. Each year, the organization recognizes advocates that promote its services throughout the community.
The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) launched a redesigned website featuring a user friendly navigation system. The updated site allows users to easily identify topics of interest and access pertinent information.
Regular DWD website users will immediately notice the left hand navigation options have changed. The options have been condensed to 11 choices;
The new navigation options will provide a condensed search, allowing users to easily find and access needed information on the site. Visitors select the option that pertains to their area of interest. Once an option is selected, the left hand navigation will provide users with information and services that are relevant to the topic selected.
The information on the site remained the same, but has been consolidated for easier access. No changes were made to IndianaCareerConnect.com or Uplink the online unemployment insurance filing system.
Last year, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) developed a computer program known as a widget that displays new jobs available through IndianaCareerConnect.com each day. This free program has been so successful, that DWD has developed three new widgets focused on jobs in health care, information technology and manufacturing.
The widgets help Hoosiers find local jobs through IndianaCareerConnect.com, a free public service of DWD, with over 50,000 jobs openings, and the most extensive database of job seekers in the state of Indiana.
The widgets are available for display on your homepage free of charge. Visitors simply select a job on the widget, and they are automatically redirected to IndianaCareerConnect.com for more information on how to apply. The widget is available in multiple sizes, and can be customized to pull jobs from across the state, or from your specific region.
The codes for the IndianaCareerConnect.com widgets are available for download to your website at:
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) unveiled the 2010-2011 Hoosier Hot 50, a list of the top 50 high-wage/high-demand careers of the future. The list is a tool for Hoosier students and educators seeking guidance about the top jobs in the state by 2018. First introduced in 2006, the list is published ever two years by DWD.
This year, the Hoosier Hot 50 features a new website HoosierHot50.com with video profiles of Hoosiers currently working in each position. The profiles give people an inside look at a typical day on the job and how each person broke into that field. The profiles also include data on the number of projected job openings by 2018, average salary and the education/training required for that career.
The list includes jobs representing a wide variety of interests and educational backgrounds. Hoosier students can check out Hoosierhot50.com to see what jobs might provide them the best chance of getting hired after graduation. This list is a tool to empower students to make the right choices today so they can get ahead tomorrow.
Highlights of the 2010 Hoosier Hot 50
The Hoosier Hot 50 jobs list is developed by the Indiana Department of Workforce Developments Research and Analysis team. It is based on eight weighted occupational measures of growth by 2018 and opportunity for Hoosier workers. The 2010 Hoosier Hot 50 jobs were selected based on Indiana's occupational projections and wage data from the occupational employment statistics survey. To see all of the sources and measures used to determine the list visit HoosierHot50.com.
The full list of jobs and profiles are available at HoosierHot50.com.
Over the past decade, Indiana’s unemployment insurance trust fund has been paying out more in benefits than it received in premiums creating a structural imbalance. In order to balance the system, all three sides of the unemployment insurance system or “all three legs of the stool” will need to be realigned. The three legs of the stool are employer premiums, unemployment insurance benefits and eligibility.
The General Assembly is currently looking at ways to balance the system. DWD has proposed a solution to lawmakers that equally adjusts each leg of the stool and brings the trust fund into structural balance. In 2009, lawmakers increased employer premiums so enough money was coming into the trust fund to pay benefits. Those increases go into effect this year, along with federal premium increases to pay back the federal government loan that was used to pay benefits.
In order to maintain Indiana’s competitive business climate, DWD has proposed using the projected revenue from the state premiums to offset employers’ federal premium increases. This will prevent multiple tax increases and allow the state to begin repaying the federal loan and interest.
The second leg of the stool that needs to be addressed is benefit inequities. Currently, unemployment insurance benefits are calculated based on an individuals highest quarter earnings over the year. This allows two individuals with the same yearly income to receive different unemployment insurance benefit amounts.
DWD wants to ensure fair benefits for all Hoosiers by using annual earnings to calculate unemployment benefits instead of highest quarter earnings. Calculating benefits based on an individual’s annual income will provide equal wage replacement rates. This will not change how much an individual can earn. The maximum weekly benefit will remain $390 a week.
Closing eligibility loopholes is the third leg of the stool that must be adjusted. Current law allows individuals that receive severance pay or voluntarily resign as part of an employee buyout program to collect unemployment insurance benefits. DWD has proposed waiting until the severance pay ends before paying benefits. Anyone who voluntarily resigns should not be eligible for benefits because they are not unemployed due to no fault of their own, one of the key requirements to claim benefits. Another loophole provides benefits for as-needed employees and allows others to claim benefits during planned shut down. These individuals are not unemployed, therefore they should not be eligible.
Fellow DWD Stakeholders and Partners,
As we prepare to close out 2010, many of you face the daunting task of preparing your budget for the next year. This annual exercise often tests the limits of balancing known and unknown changes in revenue, spending and changes in the business climate. DWD business clients will notice considerable change in 2011.
The first change involves the Federal Unemployment Insurance Tax. As most of you know, Indiana's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund has borrowed approximately $1.8 billion from the federal government to continue paying eligible Hoosiers' unemployment insurance claims. According to federal law, Hoosier businesses will see their federal UI (FUTA) tax increase 0.3% next year on the first $7,000 in taxable wages due to the money not being fully re-paid in November. This will be reported on your federal tax filings and represents an additional $21 per employee.
Secondly, Indiana's unemployment insurance loan through the federal government is currently interest free. Absent any congressional action, this interest-free period expires at the end of the year. Under existing law, the Indiana General Assembly is required to find a funding mechanism to pay this interest. Federal law forbids payment of interest from the UI Trust Fund. We estimate interest payments of approximately $100 million the first year with the first payment due in September 2011 to the federal government.
Finally, two years ago the Indiana General Assembly enacted changes to address the structural deficit in the state's unemployment insurance trust fund. This legislation included changes in unemployment insurance premiums. Last year, lawmakers agreed to delay those premium changes from going into effect for one year. Those rates will go into effect January 1, 2011. This agency will send each business their new tax rate. However, if you would like to budget for these changes, you can find the new premium schedule here www.in.gov/dwd/2558.htm.
It is my hope this information removes uncertainty about upcoming changes to the unemployment insurance system and helps you prepare for a successful 2011.
Mark W. Everson
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