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CCH® UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE — 11/01/11

CRS issues report on UI-related aspects of American Jobs Act

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has issued a report covering some UI-related aspects of the American Jobs Act. This proposal was introduced, by request, in the Senate on September 13, 2011 (S. 1549) and in the House on September 21, 2011 (H.R. 12). The Obama Administration estimates the legislation would result in spending of $447 billion, to be offset by revenue provisions included in the bill or savings achieved by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. The proposal also was introduced, with a different offset, as S. 1660 on October 6.

Among its many provisions, the legislation would promote the hiring of veterans and long-term unemployed individuals through tax credits to employers, costing an estimated $8 billion. And it would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of an individual’s unemployed status.

The bill also focuses on the income and reemployment needs of unemployed workers, particularly the long-term unemployed. In addition to provisions that would extend certain temporary compensation programs, the legislation would authorize a new Reemployment NOW program to help states address the reemployment needs of eligible individuals, and would expand federal funding for state-administered short-time compensation (or “work sharing”) programs. In total, these provisions would cost an estimated $49 billion.

Although not discussed in the report, tax reductions for employers ($70 billion) and employees ($175 billion)—largely through payroll tax cuts—form the largest single category of spending under the Act (R42033, 10/11/2011; www.crs.gov).