This week, Need to Know profiles two innovative jobs programs at opposite ends of the country.
First, an update on a state program in Oregon that encourages workers who have been fired to use their unemployment benefits to start new businesses. The idea is that if the new businesses succeed — and they do at an usually high rate — these new employers will hire workers of their own.
Rhode Island is using unemployment insurance to keep workers on the job. The so-called “workshare plan” enables businesses thinking of firing workers to reduce their hours instead. The state makes up most of the difference in pay. This means the state pays out less than if the workers had been fired, employees get to keep their jobs, and companies keep their workforces essentially intact.