Tacoma’s Ted Brown Music is featured in a New York Times article regarding its use of a little-known state job sharing program.
Employment Security’s Shared Work program helps businesses avoid layoffs by paying employees partial unemployment benefits when their work hours are reduced. Though Ted Brown Music has been using the program to hold onto valued workers, many companies nationally are not largely due to a lack of awareness, according to the article.
It estimates that only 1 percent of the nearly 30 million people receiving unemployment benefits nationally are getting them through a shared work program.
The situation in Washington State is better. The article reports that one in nine Washington workers receiving state jobless benefits is getting them through work sharing.
“I’m sick of this being the ‘best kept secret,’” Suzan LeVine, commissioner of Washington’s Employment Security Department, said of the program, officially titled short-time compensation. “It is the diamond in the rough of the unemployment benefits system.”