The New York Times today highlights work-sharing plans, which offer an alternative to layoffs for cash-strapped businesses. Seventeen states offer work-sharing, whereby businesses can reduce workers’ hours and traditional state unemployment funds will provide a portion of the reduced pay. Participating states include North Carolina and Massachusetts (among others), with a push for this type of program in Ohio.
While it doesn’t erase the fact that the country is in a recession, this type of program is a win-win-win of sorts: workers keep their jobs, businesses avoid high turnover costs, and the program costs states only a fraction of what they would have to pay if workers were laid off entirely. For some workers and businesses, opting in to work-sharing could mean the difference between sinking and swimming in a lousy economy.
For more information on this and other recession-time resources, check your state’s labor and unemployment departments.