Work-Sharing: Averting Layoffs and Saving Jobs

What Is Work-Sharing?

Work-sharing is an innovative unemployment insurance (UI) program that has saved nearly half a million jobs over the past five years. By giving employers an alternative to layoffs when facing a financial downturn, work-sharing helps businesses retain skilled workers until economic conditions improve, and helps employees maintain financial stability until they return to full-time work.Under work-sharing, distressed employers reduce workers’ hours instead of laying people off, and the program helps the workers recoup some of their lost income through UI compensation.Twenty-four states still do not have work-sharing programs. They have until the end of 2014 to enact conforming legislation in order to qualify for their state’s share of $100 million in federal grants for both program implementation and promotion/enrollment.

More Resources for Advocates

This resource page is for advocates who are promoting the adoption of UI work-sharing (a.k.a. “short-time compensation”) programs in their states. The materials, prepared by the National Employment Law Project and the Center for Law & Social Policy, can be used to educate members of the executive and legislative branches, businesses, worker advocates, and the general public about the value of work-sharing and the mechanics of enacting a state work-sharing law.

Primary Resources

Additional Resources:

Work-Sharing Conference PowerPoints (January 2014)

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About the Author

George Wentworth