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Staying on the job: A program in Rhode Island helps businesses keep people employed

Help Wanted is Need to Know’s monthly series dedicated to exploring America’s jobs crisis. It will continue on the first Friday of every month through Election Day 2012, to coincide with the jobs report.

No number can really measure how difficult life becomes when a breadwinner is forced off the payroll. One state is trying to prevent that from happening.

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.

Need to Know’s Mona Iskander reports on this innovative job-saving program, which seems to be paying off.

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