Thursday, November 20, 2008

Michigan Unemployment rate surges

The state of Michigan's unemployment rate surged in October to 9.3%. And if there if Congress doesn't lend the Big 3 a helping hand in the coming weeks, you can be sure that figure is definitely going to rise.

story here...

Friday, November 14, 2008

The State of Michigan must raise taxes on employers in the state to keep its unemployment fund solvent.

According to the Detroit Free Press:

IOU raises jobless taxes for 40,000 employers


Hard economic times have caught up to Michigan’s unemployment insurance fund in a big way.

About 40,000 Michigan employers will pay an extra $67.50 per employee in January to help pay off a $472.8-million shortfall in the state unemployment benefits fund.

Read the rest of the article here

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Keep your health insurance if you're unemployed

This article from the Dallas Morning News does a good job at stressing the importance of keeping health insurance while you're out of work.

One good idea that it mentions is that if you're still in the open enrollment period for picking your health-care plan--and--you expect layoffs could be coming, you can select a lower-cost health plan, which should lower your COBRA insurance payments should that be the best plan you can get if you are let-go.

Nevertheless, you should contact other health insurance companies to get a health insurance quote and to decide what is best for your family.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

California Unemployment Insurance

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the state's unemployment insurance fund is struggling.

Read the article here.

State unemployment funds running dry

According to this article:

The state of Ohio may see it's unemployment coffers run dry in late 2008.

There are many other states that are running into this issue, and I will try to put up a list. States such as Ohio can borrow money from the feds, but don't be surprised if this will cause employers to pay higher premiums, and unemployment benefits to be reduced in the future.

Unemployment Rate

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just posted seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October 2008---It's at 6.5% and quickly climbing.

Stay Insured

While you are in between jobs, you should also be sure to stay insured. Your company will offer you COBRA health insurance. You should read all the information they give you about COBRA insurance, know the monthly cost which you will have to pay, and know the date by which you will have to elect to receive (and pay for) coverage.

I have found that it is beneficial to shop around for health insurance. Firms such as Assurant, Cigna and Blue Cross/Blue Shield all offer individual and family plans---Assuming you don't have significant preconditions, these firms will likely offer you a lower price than COBRA, and they offer you the opportunity to raise your deductable to further reduce your monthly premium.

File for unemployment benefits

Each state has slightly different rules regarding Unemployment insurance. This is insurance that your employer paid for and there's a chance you are entitled to receive benefits (even if you received severance).

I am not an expert in the details of each states program, but I suggest you contact them as soon as possible to determine your eligibility and weekly payout amount.

You can find your state's unemployment website here:

It's important to note, in order to continue to receive the unemployment checks you will need to be (1) actively looking for work each week. and (2) contacting the unemployment agency to verify that you were able to work and looking for work.

Your manager just gave you the "heave-ho"

If you haven't done so while you were employed, be sure to get the emails and phone numbers of people who can help you out, or that you want to stay in touch with. This list should include:
  1. Human Resources (in case you have to speak to somebody about COBRA, your 401-k, your W-2's)
  2. Your manager and peers (future employers and placement firms will want to speak to folks who can give you good recommendations)
  3. Suppliers, customers, and other contacts---these contacts can be very useful in building your network, once you start your job search.
Taxes---Often times, you will have to move for the new job before the April 15th tax deadline. It's important that you let your old HR department know where your new address is at. (And if you're receiving severance for several weeks/months, but think it's highly likely that you'll be without a job for sometime after severance stops, you can consider changing your with-holdings before you leave).

Welcome to my blog

With unemployment in the U.S. reaching 6.5% in the most recent month, I wanted to provide a resource to the recently unemployed or the folks feeling bit insecure.

I plan on providing various nuggets of information including:
  • Tips on what to do before you walk out the door
  • Advice on how to handle your first days/weeks of not working
  • Some helpful job-hunt tips
  • and, various statistics about the economy & unemployment rate