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    Federal officials have charged a 40-year-old woman for her role in attempting to steal nearly $2 million in COVID-19 unemployment benefits during the pandemic. Yohauris Rodriguez Hernandez was arrested in Orange County on Wednesday, Jan. 19 in Goshen and now faces a host of federal charges in connection to her role in a COVID-19 unemployment benefit scheme. It is alleged that Hernandez and a co-conspirator attempted to steal more than $1.9 million from the New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) and other states’ agencies tasked with the administration of unemployment benefits. US Attorney Damian Williams said that between February 2020 and December 2020, Hernandez and her co-conspirator allegedly engaged in a scheme to obtain COVID-19 unemployment benefits through the fraudulent filing and verification of applications using the names and social security numbers of at least 100 other people. Law enforcement investigators were first alerted to the scheme when the two fled a Westchester hotel in Yonkers in December 2020, leaving behind their room with more than 500 pieces of NYS DOL mail containing information and NYS DOL-issued...
    SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A woman was arrested in Las Vegas in connection to what authorities call the largest unemployment fraud scheme discovered within Sacramento County, prosecutors announced Tuesday. Jamie Williams-Major, 35, faces 166 charges for an Employment Development Department scheme that totaled more that $2.75 million. READ MORE: US Plans $50B Wildfire Fight Where Forests Meet NeighborhoodsAccording to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, Williams-Major filed 166 unemployment claims using the names of identity theft victims and inmates throughout the state of California. READ MORE: Fire Destroys Trailer Parked In Downtown SacramentoWilliams-Major was first arrested last April along with six other people who were inmates, prosecutors said. Investigators discovered the seven suspects had conducted an EDD fraud scheme that gained them more that $250,000. However, in the following investigation, it was discovered through contents on Williams-Major’s cell phone that the alleged unemployment fraud scheme was more than 10 times larger that previously thought, prosecutors said. MORE NEWS: California College Students Will Be Offered $10K For Public ServiceAn arrest warrant was again issued for Williams-Major. She was located and arrested in...
                 Wisconsin Republican legislators introduced the Stronger Workforce Initiative to fight the growing labor shortage occurring in the state. According to a joint press release from the Wisconsin Senate Republicans and Wisconsin Assembly Republicans, the initiative would be a “multipronged approach to address the employment crisis facing small businesses throughout Wisconsin.” The Wednesday joint release said, “Everyone has seen the enormous amount of ‘help wanted’ signs throughout Wisconsin. Employers are desperate to fill vacant jobs, and the lack of willing workers has reached crisis levels. There’s an abundance of high-wage jobs and a large number of workers available. The Stronger Workforce Initiative will help remove the government-created barriers between the two.” It continued, “Republicans feel an obligation to deliver smarter government programs that provide a safety net to the truly needy but don’t compete with businesses needing to hire those who are able to work. It is clear that the opportunities for Wisconsin’s workforce have changed, and our government systems need to change along with them.” The initiative includes seven separate bills regarding employment and unemployment benefits, which “promote...
    SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A woman arrested in Las Vegas was arrested in connection to what authorities call the largest unemployment fraud scheme within Sacramento County, prosecutors announced Tuesday. Jamie Williams-Major, 35, faces 166 charges for an Employment Development Department scheme that totaled more that $2.75 million. READ MORE: Website To Order Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests Is Up And RunningAccording to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, Williams-Major filed 166 unemployment claims using the names of identity theft victims and inmates throughout the state of California. READ MORE: Argument Preceded Shooting That Left Man, Woman Hurt In Elk Grove; Suspect Still SoughtWilliams-Major was first arrested last April along with six other people who were inmates, prosecutors said. Investigators discovered the seven suspects had conducted an EDD fraud scheme that gained them more that $250,000. However, in the following investigation, it was discovered through contents on Williams-Major’s cell phone that the alleged unemployment fraud scheme was more than 10 times larger that previously thought, prosecutors said. MORE NEWS: Woodland Woman, 19, Reported Missing Found Dead In Crash Off I-80 In NatomasAn arrest...
              by J.D. Davidson   A recent report shows Ohio continues to struggle to recover economically from the COVID-19 pandemic when compared with the rest of the nation. A state-by-state comparison from the personal-finance website WalletHub showed the among the biggest increases in unemployment claims compared with a week ago. Ohio had the ninth-largest increase week-over-over. “Ohio’s unemployment claims experienced the ninth-biggest increase in the past week. Compared to the same week in 2019, there are almost 75% more claims registered, and over 62% more compared to the first week of 2020, some of the highest increases in the country,” WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez said. “Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, Ohio has had an over 120% rise in unemployment claims, the 13th-largest nationwide.” Compared with last year, Ohio’s weekly unemployment claims decreased by more than 53%, but that was the 24th-smallest decrease in the country. Ohio neighbors Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia all struggled with weekly claims, with Indiana ranking third, Kentucky fifth and West Virginia 15th with the largest increases from a week ago. Based on the December numbers from the...
    In the latest battle between California and scammers out to defraud its benefits system, the state said it froze 345,000 disability insurance claims that it suspects were fraudulently filed using stolen credentials of doctors and other medical providers. The new scam could further strain California’s troubled Employment Development Department, which struggled to deliver timely benefits to jobless workers during the pandemic and paid out some $20 billion to criminals under false unemployment claims. “My initial reaction was, ‘Good grief, one more thing the department has to deal with,’ ” said Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica). EDD said it suspended 27,000 “suspicious” medical provider accounts and 345,000 associated disability insurance claims in recent weeks. Some legitimate claims may be among the suspected fraud attempts, which could delay disability checks to Californians in need. The department said it’s working with regulators and providers to verify and unfreeze those accounts as quickly as possible. Medical providers must verify their identity in response to an official email sent from the department. California Newsom approves laws to revamp California’s unemployment...
    A musician who lost all her unemployment documents when her home burned in a wildfire. An arborist who filed for unemployment assistance a year before the pandemic began. A tattoo artist who can’t prove he was working because he ran a cash operation. These are just a few Californians caught in a state dragnet to recover money from fraudulent unemployment claims. Late last year, California’s Employment Development Department launched a clawback program, requiring some 1.4 million people who received federal pandemic unemployment assistance to retroactively prove they were working or seeking work. The federal assistance, which ended in September, was aimed at helping people who don’t usually qualify for unemployment benefits because they are freelancers or small-business owners. As of January 4, one out of five recipients who received notice from EDD have responded, but the state says the vast majority of them have been deemed eligible and won’t have to repay benefits. But some are unable to provide documentation, leaving them on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars. If they can’t pay, the state could collect the money in...
    Rep. Susan Wild has continuously claimed there was “a lot of economic progress” in 2021, and the economic crisis is being “greatly exaggerated” despite rising prices, rising inflation, and hiring slowing down across the county. In a recent op-ed with The Morning Call, Wild (D-CA) said that there was “a lot of economic progress in the last year,” saying America “got shots in arms, money in pockets, and job creation back on track.” She also touted the passage of the so-called bipartisan infrastructure bill. However, in her op-ed, Wild acknowledged that one of the ways Congress needs to “focus on growing our economy” is to fix the supply chain crisis “to prevent the shortages and slowdowns that plagued storefronts for the past 18 months.” Wild’s op-ed comes a month after she claimed during an appearance on MSNBC that it is important to keep the economic issues at the top of the list, but she “think[s] that the rumors” of there being an “economic demise are greatly exaggerated,” noting that America is “in really good shape going into 2022.” She also claimed that “unemployment has plummeted,” and the “[American]...
    AROUND 25million people received unemployment benefits in 2021 - and they now face paying tax on the cash. It's because Congress hasn't passed a law offering recipients a tax break as it did in 2020. 1We explain what you need to know about tax on unemployment benefits Unfortunately, they don't seem poised to do so either. Under "normal" circumstances, income from unemployment insurance is treated as income from a paycheck and subject to federal and state taxes where it applies. Unemployment income is also typically considered taxable income and is reported on your tax return as such. From there it depends on your particular state what tax treatment comes along with it. However, many people would not consider these past two years as "normal". Most read in MoneyHOPE ON THE HORIZON Double ‘$3,600 stimulus’ payments may be decided as IRS letter sentHELPING HAND Extra food stamps sent out as emergency $1,504 boost automatically depositedCHECK PLEASE Automatic $1,100 payments deposited THIS WEEK as calls for $2,000 check growPENNY ERROR Lincoln double die pennies explained - and what makes them worth up...
    California’s wobbly job market has stumbled coming out of the gate in 2022, posting two straight weeks of rising unemployment claims that have now soared to their worst level in nearly three months. Workers in California filed 63,000 initial claims for unemployment during the week that ended Jan. 8, which was a big jump of 12,800 from the 50,200 that were filed statewide during the week ending Jan. 1, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday. These numbers were not adjusted for seasonal volatility. Nationwide, workers filed 230,000 initial jobless claims last week, up 23,000 from the 207,000 claims that were filed in the United States the prior week, according to the Labor Department. These numbers were adjusted for seasonal variations. The approximately 63,000 unemployment claims that California workers in the week ending on Jan. 8 represented the highest weekly total since Oct. 16, when workers filed 72,900 jobless claims — nearly three months ago. The recent rise in jobless filings could suggest that employers have launched fresh rounds of layoffs amid a new wave of illnesses that the coronavirus omicron...
    TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – First-time unemployment claims in Florida doubled during the first week of 2022 from the holiday-shortened final week of 2021. The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday estimated 9,705 initial unemployment claims were filed during the week that ended Jan. 8, up from a revised count of 4,299 for the week ending Jan. 1. READ MORE: Lauderhill Police Car Set On Fire Outside SynagogueThe agency initially projected 4,046 claims were filed during the final week of 2021. The 9,705 claims last week were the highest total since 10,110 claims were filed during the week that ended July 24 as the state was facing impacts from COVID-19’s delta variant. Nationally, an estimated 230,000 claims were filed last week, up 23,000 from the prior week. Last week, the Labor Department reported the U.S. added 199,000 jobs in December, below expectations of economists. But with wages rising 0.6 percent — an indication that employers are still struggling to find and retain workers — the national unemployment rate dropped from 4.2 percent to 3.9 percent. READ MORE:...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level since mid-November. U.S. jobless claims climbed by 23,000 last week to 230,000, still low by historic standards. The four-week moving average, which smooths out week-to-week blips, was up nearly 6,300 to almost 211,00. The weekly applications, a proxy for layoffs, have now risen four of the last five weeks, possibly a sign that the omicron variant is having an impact on the job market, which has bounced strongly from last year’s coronavirus recession. Altogether, 1.6 million people were collecting jobless aid the week that ended Jan. 1. Companies are holding onto workers at a time when it’s difficult to find replacements. Employers posted 10.6 million job openings in November, the fifth-highest monthly total in records going back to 2000. A record 4.5 million workers quit their jobs in November — a sign that they are confident enogh to look something better. The job market has bounced back from last year’s brief but intense coronavirus recession. When COVID hit, governments ordered lockdowns, consumers...
    WITH the Omicron variant on the rise, many may be wondering if they will get paid sick leave if they get Covid. It is also important to know your unused sick pay and unemployment benefit rights - we explain all you need to know below. 1The rules for sick and vacation leave depend on state law and company policy Do you get Paid Time Off (PTO) if you get COVID-19? On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This document required certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. For instance, this included if someone was experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, seeking a medical diagnosis and quarantining. Your paid sick leave should have been your regular rate of pay, but the Act expired on December 31, 2020. Fortunately, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law on March 11, 2021. Most read in MoneyCASH OUT Massive new ‘$1,657 checks’ to be sent out THIS WEEK in huge cost of living boostHELPING HAND Extra food stamps sent out...
    Families also expressed optimism about fuel and food costs in a survey taken by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. A survey released on Monday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that American households say they expect increased personal earnings and better employment prospects in President Joe Biden's second year in office. The Survey of Consumer Expectations is a monthly survey of approximately 1,300 households giving their views on earnings growth, job prospects, inflation, and credit. In the December 2021 survey, respondents said they expected their earnings growth for the year ahead to be 3.0%, which was an increase of 0.2% over the previous month's survey. The Reserve said that the most optimistic expectations came from respondents "with an annual household income below $50,000." People responding to the survey also expressed the view that unemployment will continue to decrease. Only 35.2% said they believe unemployment will be higher in a year, and even that was a 0.9-point drop from the November survey. The number of respondents who...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — With inflation surging, unemployment falling and wages rising, some economists are warning that the Federal Reserve may have waited too long to reverse its ultra-low-rate policies — a delay that could put the economy at heightened risk. On Wednesday, the government is expected to report that consumer prices jumped 7.1% over the past 12 months, which would be the steepest such increase in decades. Fed Chair Jerome Powell is sure to be grilled on the issue during a Senate hearing Tuesday on his nomination for a second four-year term. Inflation has become the most serious threat to the economy, a growing worry for the financial markets and a major political problem for the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress. While Powell has many defenders who applaud the Fed’s willingness to keep interest rates low to help reduce unemployment after the pandemic recession, Friday’s U.S. jobs report for December raised alarms. It showed another sharp drop in the unemployment rate, an unexpectedly large increase in hourly pay and chronic labor shortages. Though lower joblessness and higher pay benefit...
    A worker installs U.S. flags as part of a Covid-19 memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Jan.18, 2021.Carlos Barria | Reuters When the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in March 2020, Stephanie Bonin and her husband, Keith Arnold, co-owners of a Denver restaurant, worried they would face financial disaster. The pandemic prompted them to close Duo Restaurant, which serves farm-to-table contemporary American cuisine. There was no playbook as to what would happen next, as federal and state aid addressing the crisis had not yet been implemented. They temporarily laid off all but three of their 15 employees. At the time, Bonin knew she and her husband would not get unemployment insurance. While their staff would receive benefits, it would not match their weekly pay checks and tips. More from Personal Finance:How government may get more aid to Americans amid omicron surgeHave Covid? You can't get unemployment benefitsFamilies who got the child tax credit should watch for this IRS letter "Their livelihood was on our shoulders," Bonin said. "That was what was keeping us up at night. "How are...
    Goldman Sachs expects the Federal Reserve to move even more aggressively to raise interest rates in 2022 than previously thought. The financial services giant came out with a research note that predicted the Fed will hike rates four times this year, more than the three times that were expected after a meeting of top central bank officials last month. Goldman’s chief economist, Jan Hatzius, now foresees hikes in March, June, September, and December. Hatzius cited the minutes from the Fed's December meeting, which were released last week. The minutes indicated that central bank officials are taking a more hawkish approach to monetary policy than they have previously. The research note said that discussions surrounding the normalization of the balance sheet conveyed “a greater sense of urgency than we had expected.” “We are therefore pulling forward our runoff forecast from December to July, with risks tilted to the even earlier side,” Hatzius wrote. “With inflation probably still far above target at that point, we no longer think that the start to runoff will substitute for a quarterly...
              by Scott McClallen   Michigan estimates losing $8.5 billion to unemployment fraud since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the CEO of a fraud prevention company says that number is closer to $11 billion. Haywood Talcove, the CEO of LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ Government Group, which provides fraud prevention tools to 26 state unemployment programs and the 50 top US banks, told The Center Square in a Zoom interview that profiles on the encrypted messaging app Telegram are fraudulently selling Michigan unemployment benefits. Talcove said such transnational profiles have scammed Michigan’s jobless agency out of billions of dollars in less than two years by battering aged systems with thousands of fraudulent claims, bogging down real ones. In spring 2020, fraudsters and real claimants thrown out of work filed a peak of over 388,000 claims in one week – 77 times more than an average pre-pandemic week – overwhelming the system. The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) approved a majority of the claims, including many of the fraudulent ones. Criminals across four countries – China, Nigeria, Romania and Russia – used the same devices to constitute 85%...
    SICK Americans who are struck down with Covid are ineligible to claim unemployment benefits. Fuelled by the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant, as well as the Delta strain, the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus is currently ballooning. 2Americans can't claim unemployment benefit if they test positive for Covid but there is a loopholeCredit: Getty The seven-day average of daily new cases is more than 480,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University. Recently, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reduced the isolation period for people without symptoms from 10 days to five. Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 and remains at home to isolate and recover is not eligible to claim jobless benefits, according to Michele Evermore, a senior policy advisor for unemployment insurance at the US Department of Labor. Under the law, Americans must be “able and available” for work in order to claim assistance. Those who have Covid do not meet this requirement, according to Evermore. Most read in The US SunICON LOST Betty White's cause of death revealed after screen legend passed...
    Larry Kudlow, a former economic adviser to former President Donald Trump, shared his reactions Friday night to the federal government’s jobs report for December, which was released earlier in the day. During an appearance on "The Ingraham Angle," Kudlow agreed with host Laura Ingraham’s assertion that President Biden largely benefited from actions taken in Republican-led red states to keep the economy on track as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Biden placed his own spin on the data, stressing a decline in unemployment instead of the fact that new hiring fell far short of expectations. Kudlow also issued a warning for the near future, claiming that more spending by the Democrats could delay a full economic recovery until several years down the road. US HIRING COOLS IN DECEMBER AS ECONOMY ADDS JUST 199,000 NEW JOBS LARRY KUDLOW: Those red states ended the excessively generous unemployment benefits, three or four months earlier, before the federal government did – and many more people returned to work because of that. So I think you’re making a good argument that a lot of the plusses in...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the fastest years of job creation in U.S. history stumbled at the finish line in December. Hobbled by shortages of workers and persistent threats from the coronavirus, America’s employers added just 199,000 jobs last month — the lowest monthly haul since December 2020 and only about half the total that economists had envisioned. The news was hardly all bleak. The unemployment rate dropped to a pandemic low of 3.9%. Wages rose. More people said they were employed in December compared with November. And the government revised up its estimate of job growth in October and November by a combined 141,000. The pandemic has taken the job market on a wild ride. As COVID-19 slammed the United States in March 2020, governments ordered lockdowns and families hunkered down at home as a health precaution. Business closed or reduced hours. Employers laid off tens of millions of workers. But vast infusions of government stimulus — and, eventually, the rollout of vaccines — revived the economy with unexpected speed. Employers added 6.4 million jobs last year,...
    The unemployment rate fell in December for all U.S. workers except Black women. While the headline hiring number came in much lower than expected in December, the overall unemployment rate dipped to 3.9% from 4.2% in November, the Labor Department reported. However, the unemployment rate for Black women jumped to 6.2% last month from 4.9% — the only race and gender group whose unemployment rate worsened in December. That increase followed a roughly 2 percentage-point drop in November. At the time, some economists saw that decrease as a cautious sign of improvement for Black women seeking jobs. "The data for smaller demographic groups tend to be pretty volatile," said Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute. "We need to look at longer-term trends to see what is happening." But the December rate for Black women does represent an improvement since the start of last year when it stood 8.5%. "We're definitely seeing improvement in the Black unemployment rate over a longer period of time ... but it's still quite elevated," Gould said. The disparity in unemployment progress for...
    President Joe Biden called the December jobs report, which showed unemployment dropping to 3.9%, a "historic" milestone in his presidency. Biden delivered remarks on the report Friday before departing the White House to survey fire damage in Colorado, claiming the figures showed "the sharpest one-year drop in unemployment in United States history and the first time the unemployment rate has been below 4% in the first year of a presidential term in 50 years." U.S. ADDED 199,000 NEW JOBS IN DECEMBER, WITH PROJECTIONS FALLING SHORT FOR SECOND STRAIGHT MONTH "Record job creation, record unemployment declines, record increases in the people in the labor force," the president added. "I would argue the Biden economic plan is working and is getting America back to work back on its feet." The president credited the unemployment decline with the American Rescue Plan and vaccine advancements in 2021. Still, he urged Congress to pass his Build Back Better spending legislation to continue growing the economy. "Some of them have components that are immediate, like unsticking the supply chain. Some will show their benefits over time,...
    (CNN)President Joe Biden on Friday touted the unemployment rate dropping to 3.9% in December and credited his economic agenda with getting America "back on its feet," despite Friday's job report showing the US economy added fewer jobs than expected last month. "I think it's a historic day for our economic recovery," Biden said at the White House.This story is breaking and will be updated.
    Another month of pandemic, another confusing and somewhat contradictory jobs report. The headline numbers are that 199,000 new jobs were created in December, while the unemployment level fell to 3.9%, the lowest of the pandemic. The first of those numbers is below expectations, while the second is, well, the best in nearly two years. A key piece of context for the overall jobs creation number is that this measure has repeatedly been revised up by large amounts since the summer. From June through September, jobs numbers were revised up by a combined 626,000 jobs. And this month’s report saw the numbers for October and November revised up by a combined 141,000 jobs. So while the initial report is always subject to revision, the 199,000 number this month should be seen as very much a first guess. It’s also important to understand that while this is labeled the December jobs report, the time period it covers is before omicron took full effect. The jobs and unemployment numbers come from two different surveys, which have been producing these unusually divided outlooks in recent months. Traditionally,...
    The United States saw the widest gap in unemployment rates for African Americans and whites in years at the conclusion of the first year of Biden’s presidency, underscoring an uneven recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and the Biden administration’s failure to meet its promises to foster racial equity in the economy. The jobless rates for whites fell half a percentage point to 3.2 percent, while the rate for blacks rose from 6.7 percent to 7.1 percent, according to data released by the Labor Department on Friday. As a result, black unemployment is now more than twice the white unemployment rate. In fact, at 220 percent the white unemployment rate, the racial gap is tied with the second-highest of this century. The long-term average, going back to the 1970s, is for the black unemployment rate to be 215 percent of the white unemployment rate. Since the turn of the century, the gap has averaged slightly less than 200 percent. The gap is even larger for men. White men have an unemployment rate of three percent, while black men have an unemployment...
    The U.S. economy added just 199,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent. Economists had forecast 422,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, although this week’s report on private payrolls from ADP indicating that the private sector added 807,000 jobs had created some anticipation that the official figure would be higher than the consensus forecast. Consumers in the U.S. spent heavily this year on Christmas gifts, pushing retail sales up 11 percent higher than 2019 in the traditional holiday shopping season beginning November 1. And lots of shopping took place earlier this year as consumers fretted that snarled supply chains would lead to shortages of goods. In anticipation of that, many businesses staffed up earlier in the year than is traditional. The results can be seen in the jobs numbers. The economy added on 379,000 jobs in September and 546,000 in October, more than expected for each month. But much of that hiring appears to have been borrowed from the future, so to speak. In November, traditionally a big month for hiring, the economy...
    The economy added 199,000 new jobs in December, fewer than expected. The unemployment rate declined to 3.9%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The new numbers come after the economy also performed worse than expected in November, adding just 210,000 new jobs, far less than the half-million that were anticipated. Friday’s report will undoubtedly raise questions about what effect the omicron variant of COVID-19 has had on the country’s economic situation. There have been fears that the new strain could cause people to avoid the jobs market. MANY SHOPPERS OVERSPENT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, SURVEY REVEALS The omicron variant, which is thought to be much more contagious, has resulted in event cancellations and reignited remote work for many companies. This week the U.S. blew past its previous record for cases, with new cases climbing by more than 1 million in a single day. While cases are up by nearly 250% from two weeks ago, deaths are down 3% for that same time period. Despite the worse than forecasted December jobs report, there has been some...
    California workers filed more unemployment claims last week compared with the prior week, an increase that starts 2022 in a disquieting fashion for the state’s battered job market. Workers statewide filed 50,900 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the week that ended on Jan. 1, an increase of roughly 2,100 from the approximately 48,800 claims that were filed in the week ending on Dec. 25, the U.S. Labor Department reported. The increase in the most recent report snaps two straight weeks during which California workers filed fewer jobless claims. Nationwide, workers filed 207,000 unemployment claims last week, an increase of 7,000 from the week before, the Labor Department reported. These national numbers were adjusted for seasonal variations. California’s unemployment claims are at a level that is far worse than what would be typical for a healthy and fully functioning economy, this news organization’s analysis of the figures shows. The most recently reported total of 50,900 unemployment claims statewide is far above what was reported during January 2020 and February 2020, the final two months before government officials ordered wide-ranging business...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- New numbers released Tuesday show a record number of Americans who quit or changed jobs in November with labor shortages giving job-seekers the upper hand."What the data is showing is that people are leaving jobs more quickly than they have been in the past, that was a trend, we saw pre-COVID," said Justin Rietz, Assistant Professor of Economics at San Jose State University. "When COVID hit, people were holding on to their jobs."But now, the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that a record 4.5 million American workers quit their jobs in November.Rietz says the reasons people are leaving their jobs may vary."They're saying, "Hey, I can take that risk, there are other jobs available. Part of it could be inflation...hey, I'm not making enough money at my current job. I want to find a better job where I make more money.'"Rietz is part of a team that developed a tool called the Silicon Valley COVID-19 Dashboard.Instead of only getting data on the state and national level that's released monthly, the tool...
    The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week as soaring COVID-19 infections forced some businesses into de facto lockdowns. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 207,000 for the week ended January 1, the Labor Department said on Thursday.  The increase was unexpected but still moderate, and jobless claims remain at historically low levels after more than a year of elevated layoffs during the pandemic.  The labor market is tightening amid an acute shortage of workers. With coronavirus infection, driven by the Omicron variant, expected to peak soon, a substantial rise in claims is unlikely. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 207,000 for the week ended January 1 A 'Now Hiring' sign is placed on the glass store front of a store in Montebello, California, amid a nationwide labor shortage last month 'It is possible that the recent spread of COVID has put that earlier downward trend on hold,' said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York. 'That said, it is...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week but remained at historically low levels, suggesting that the job market remains strong. U.S. jobless claims rose by 7,000 last week to 207,000. The four-week average of claims, which smooths out week-to-week gyrations, rose by nearly 4,800 to just below 205,000. Despite the increases, the numbers show that weekly claims are below the 220,000 typical before the pandemic struck the U.S. economy in March 2020. The highly transmissable omicron variant so far does not appear to have triggered significant layoffs. Altogether, nearly 1.8 million Americans were collecting traditional unemployment aid the week that ended Dec. 25. Employers are reluctant to let workers go at a time when it’s so tough to find replacements. The United States posted 10.6 million job openings in November, the fifth highest monthly total in records going back to 2000. A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November — a sign that they are confident enough in their prospects to seek something better. The job market has bounced back from...
    The number of new applications for unemployment benefits climbed 7,000 last week to 207,000, more than anticipated. The new numbers were reported on Thursday morning by the federal Labor Department. The weekly reports on jobless claims are seen as a proxy for layoffs. Over the past several weeks new jobless claims have generally trended downward as fewer people require economic assistance, although the reports are being watched closely to see what effect, if any, that the new omicron variant of COVID-19 will have on domestic employment. Omicron has swept quickly through the country, resulting in event cancellations and renewed remote work for companies. This week the U.S. crushed its previous record for cases, with new cases climbing by more than 1 million in a single day. While cases are up more than 250% from two weeks ago, because of high levels of vaccination, deaths have trended down. OMICRON SPURRING WORKER SHORTAGES ACROSS KEY INDUSTRIES While the new surge in cases could portend bad news for the labor market, it is buttressed by recent weeks of better-than-anticipated...
                 Despite the surge in the new COVID-19 Omicron variant that is especially prominent in Florida, the number of new unemployment claims during the week that ended on December 25th was the lowest since before the pandemic during the same time period in 2019. According to a news release by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), the number of initial unemployment claims in Florida for that week was only 3,982 – down 1,178 from 5,160 the week before. The numbers from the week of the 25th would also make the four-week average number of claims approximately 5,347 – 29 fewer claims than the four-week average prior to the week of March 15th, 2020, which the USDOL officially marks as the beginning of the pandemic for unemployment claim purposes. The four-week average prior to the week that ended on March 15th, 2020, was 5,376. Within that first week of the pandemic, however, the number of new unemployment claims jumped to 74,313, and reached its peak a month later with 506,670 claims for the week ending April 18th, 2020. While the...
    A healthcare worker administers a Covid-19 swab test at the Boulder County Fairgrounds testing site in Longmont, Colorado, on Dec. 14, 2021.Chet Strange/Bloomberg via Getty Images Covid-19 infections are ballooning, and sick Americans who miss work due to the virus may wonder if they qualify for unemployment benefits. The short answer: They don't. There were more than 1 million new U.S. Covid cases reported Monday, a single-day record, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The seven-day average of daily new cases is over 480,000. The dramatic rise in caseloads, fueled by the highly contagious omicron and delta virus strains, is causing worker shortages and disrupting businesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently shortened the Covid isolation period to five days for people without symptoms, down from 10 days. Individuals who test positive for Covid-19 and stay home to recover and isolate from others aren't eligible for jobless benefits, according to Michele Evermore, a senior policy advisor for unemployment insurance at the U.S. Department of Labor. Unemployment benefits are a type of social insurance paid on a...
    NicolasMcComber | E+ | Getty Images Tax season is fast approaching — and recipients of unemployment benefits in 2021 don't appear to be getting a tax break like they did for 2020. Unemployment benefits generally count as taxable income. The American Rescue Plan Act, a relief law Democrats passed in March last year, authorized a waiver of federal tax on up to $10,200 of benefits per person for 2020. Many states offered relief, too. Households qualified for the federal waiver if their income (minus benefits) was under $150,000. Congress hasn't passed a law to offer a similar tax break for 2021 benefits and doesn't seem poised to do so.More from Smart Tax Planning:Here's a look at more tax-planning news. No matter your situation, you need to file your taxes Stimulus checks, tax credits: How much you could get Experts brace for flood of tax-filing extensions amid Covid This means households that didn't withhold federal tax from benefit payments (or withheld too little) may owe a tax bill or get less of a refund this season to make up...
    TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – First-time unemployment claims in Florida rolled in last month at a pace similar to the period before the coronavirus pandemic pounded the economy. The U.S. Department of Labor estimated 3,982 unemployment claims were filed in Florida during the holiday-shortened week that ended Dec. 25. READ MORE: Gov. DeSantis Calling On Feds To Send 40,000 Additional Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Doses To FloridaIf unchanged, the estimate would be the fewest number of claims for a single week since another holiday-shortened week in late December 2019 and would put the average of new claims over the past four weeks at 5,347. In the four weeks prior to March 15, 2020, the date state and federal agencies use to mark the start of the pandemic in terms of jobless claims, the weekly average was 5,367. The state saw first-time claims spike to 74,313 during the week that ended March 21, 2020, with the number peaking at 506,670 in the week ending April 18, 2020, as more than 1.4 million Floridians were put out of work. The pace of claims eased during...
                 The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced earlier this week that an algorithm to determine the number of weeks of unemployment benefits will revert back to its pre-pandemic rate. According to state law, when the state unemployment rate is below five percent, the number of weeks for eligible Floridians to receive benefits is 12 weeks. “Based on the average 2021 third quarter statewide unemployment rate of 5 percent, beginning January 1, 2022, any new state Reemployment Assistance claim filed is eligible for up to 12 weeks of benefits,” the DEO said Tuesday. During 2021, $12 billion in unemployment benefits have been doled out due to the pandemic forcing the state to raise the maximum number of eligible weeks up to 19. Florida’s Republican lawmakers and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) have both actively worked to reduce the number of Floridians receiving benefits and getting them back to work. Last week, DEO released the Florida jobs report for November showing Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent. The same month in 2020 showed Florida to have a rate of...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — Stolen state money – why doesn’t the state want it back? A Chicago woman is asking that question months after she tracked down where a fraudster stole her unemployment money, and shared the information she gathered with police and the State of Illinois. READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Winter Storm Warning On Saturday; 5 To 9 Inches Of Snow PossibleCBS 2’s Tara Molina took the woman’s questions straight to Chicago Police and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. We first introduced you to the woman, Frances, over the summer, when she told us about her stolen unemployment money. It was money she had been relying on. Her fraud case is closed, but with the year coming to an end, she wants to know why the person who stole from her and the state, hasn’t been criminally charged. “I want this person off the street,” Frances said in August. That’s what Frances said about the fraudster who stole her Illinois unemployment benefits this past summer – the second time we talked to her. “I’m going to be just...
    In early December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the unemployment rate had fallen to 4.2% — which was a major improvement over the unemployment numbers the U.S. suffered during the worst parts of the COVID-19 recession of 2020. But that announcement has been overshadowed by inflation-related headlines, and President Joe Biden continues to suffer from weak approval ratings. Journalist Ryan Cooper discusses those ratings in an op-ed published by MSNBC’s website on the next-to-last day of 2021, arguing that Biden should be getting credit for the “hot” economy. “The American economy is hotter than it's been in more than 20 years,” Cooper explains. “Unemployment is just 4.2%, lower than it ever got during Barack Obama’s presidency, and 6.1 million jobs have been created just from January through November. Growth is also surging: As the Wall Street Journal reported, analysts expect a 7% annualized growth rate in the last quarter of 2021 — a rate better than Europe and even China.” Cooper continues, “Yet contrary to all political conventional wisdom, President Joe Biden is getting no credit for...
    TODAY is the last day thousands of stimulus checks worth up to $1,000 will be sent out to Americans. Connecticut's stimulus Back to Work program, supporting eligible residents with $1,000 one-time stimulus checks, ends today on the last day of 2020. 1Connecticut residents need to act fast to receive their checksCredit: Getty Connecticut residents had to jump through some hoops to claim the relief money. In order to be eligible, individuals had to meet specific requirements like when they filed for unemployment and how long they were on unemployment. They also had to certify that they had obtained a job. To claim the payment, eligible residents had to electronically submit a Back to Work CT Program application – no paper applications allowed. The program began back in May, using Joe Biden's federal CARES ACT funding to incentivize struggling residents to return to the workforce. "This one-time bonus payment will help some of those workers pay for the critical things they need to get back to work, including childcare," said Governor Ned Lamont. "This is the latest tool in our...
                 Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) paid out more than $8 billion in fraudulent claims from March 2020 to September 2021, according to a new report from Deloitte. According to the consulting agency, an estimated 10.16 percent of the funds were paid out to individuals “involving likely imposter fraud.” Furthermore, an additional 20.21 percent to people “involving likely intentional misrepresentation fraud.” The levels presented in the report dramatically outpace past estimates. “The UIA and the billions they have paid out in fraudulent claims is a massive hit to taxpayers and the credibility of our government under Gretchen Whitmer,” said Eric Ventimiglia, executive director for Michigan Rising Action. “After this $8.5 billion failure, it is hard to believe that Whitmer is capable of getting her state departments back on track.” Over the past year, the UIA has been the center of criticism for the mismanagement of funds. The $8.5 billion in fraudulent payments are on top of a report from the state’s Office of the Auditor General, which detailed that the state agency dished out $3.9 billion in overpayments of...
    (CBS Detroit) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is creating an unemployment insurance fraud response team, allowing state department and law enforcement partners to identify, investigate and prosecute those who steal unemployment benefits. This comes after a report says the state allegedly gave away $8.5 billion in fraudulent benefits. READ MORE: Ghislaine Maxwell Convicted In Epstein Sex Abuse CaseThe figure, provided by Deloitte, came more than a year after the firm said the state Unemployment Insurance Agency expected fraud losses in the “hundreds of millions” of dollars. State auditors have since reported that the agency improperly paid $3.9 billion to claimants who were later deemed ineligible. The new response team was created under Executive Order 2021-16 signed by the governor on Wednesday. “Our diligence in identifying fraudulent claims proves that we now have effective processes to identify criminals who steal benefits from unemployed workers and Michigan taxpayers,” said UIA Directo Julia Dale. “We will use all the sophisticated tools available to us – and pursue new opportunities and partnerships – to continue aggressively fighting unemployment insurance fraud.” READ MORE: Michigan Will...
    The state of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) shelled out as much as $8.5 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims during the pandemic, according to an audit released Wednesday. The audit was conducted by Deloitte and Touche LLP and revealed the state paid an estimated $8.4 billion – $8.5 billion in fraudulent claims between March 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021. The report notes that the state avoided paying an estimated $43.7 billion in illegitimate claims over the time period. In total, the state received an estimated $52.1 billion – $52.2 billion in fraudulent imposter and fraudulent misrepresentation claims between March 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021. Michigan’s UIA Director Julia Dale told the Detroit Free Press her first reaction to the report was “outrage.” “When you look at the numbers here, to say that they’re troubling is an understatement,” Dale explained. “I’m frustrated by those who are out there willing to take advantage of the system.” Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency paid up to $8.5B to fraudulent claims, report shows https://t.co/RqQLUweFuk — Detroit Free Press (@freep) December 29, 2021 At its peak, the UIA...
    A recruiter hands out information to a job seeker during a job fair in Miami, Florida, on Dec. 16, 2021.Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images Initial claims for unemployment benefits ended 2021 near pre-pandemic levels, after an improving labor market led claims to fall roughly fourfold over the course of the year. However, a surge in Covid-19 cases amid the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant threatens to negatively impact the labor market in early 2022. Initial claims are a proxy for benefit applications after a layoff. Americans filed 198,000 unemployment claims last week, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department said Thursday, its last update before the new year. That level is slightly higher than a 52-year low hit earlier in December. Initial claims averaged 199,250 a week in December — more than four times less than the 849,000 average at the beginning of the year (in January 2021) and less than the pre-pandemic 225,000 average in December 2019, according to an analysis of data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Overall, the reduction in...
    New York (CNN Business)America's latest report on unemployment benefits is proof that the US jobs recovery is still in full-swing.The average number of weekly jobless benefits claims over the past four weeks fell to 199,250. That's the lowest four-week moving average since October 1969, the Labor Department reported Thursday.Last week alone, claims stood at 198,000, adjusted for seasonal swings. That was slightly less than economists had predicted but above the pandemic-era low.The number of continued claims, counting workers who have applied for benefits for at least two consecutive weeks, stood at 1.7 million in the week ended December 18, the lowest level since March 2020.All these data points are undeniably signs of strength in the labor market, even though the recent claims plunge might overstate the actual improvements in the job market. The winter holidays add some volatility to the numbers, according to PNC chief economist Gus Faucher.Read MoreEven accounting for this volatility, the bottom line is this: America is back to work."Demand for labor is very strong and workers are in short supply, so businesses are not laying off...
    HOUSEHOLDS who are waiting for unemployment tax refunds can check the status of the payment. Millions of people are getting a payout if they filed their tax returns before the big tax break in the American Rescue Plan became law. 1Households who are waiting for unemployment tax refunds can check the status of the paymentCredit: Getty What are the unemployment tax refunds? The American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed on March 11, included a $10,200 tax exemption for 2020 unemployment benefits. The exemption, which applied to federal taxes, meant that unemployment checks sent during the pandemic weren't counted as earned income. But because the change happened after some people filed their taxes, IRS is issuing refunds for overpayments or it may use it to pay other taxes owed. It's important to note that the $10,200 figure is the amount taxpayers can exclude from their earnings, not the amount of the refund. The latter will vary between households, depending on overall income, your tax bracket and how much of your earnings came from the benefits. Most read in MoneyCASHING IN $200 social security and...
    SURPRISE stimulus checks worth up to $1,000 are being sent out to Americans this week. The hefty checks are set to be deposited just in time for the New Year. 1Some lucky Americans will receive cash in time for the New Year States across the country are helping their residents this holiday season with bonus payments. ome lucky residents are in for a treat as several states now have their own programs to benefit the people who live there, with each local government deciding who qualifies for a fourth stimulus check and how much they will receive. In Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont announced the Back to Work program for $1,000 in stimulus checks, starting on May 30, 2021, which will continue until December 31, 2021. “Many workers who were displaced during the early months in the pandemic and faced long-term unemployment are now transitioning back into the workforce and starting to rebuild,” Lamont said. “This one-time bonus payment will help some of those workers pay for the critical things they need to get back to work, including childcare. This is the latest tool in our...