Archive of: Work Force

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Construction companies face more layoffs in 2009

An estimated two-thirds of the nation's non-residential construction companies are planning to cut their payrolls, according to new employment and business forecast figures released by the Associated General Contractors of America. All told, those layoffs are forecast to result in a 30 percent decline in the number of people working on construction projects.
"Unless the business climate changes significantly and soon, the construction sector will continue to experience the kind of devastating job losses and crippling declines in business activity that will undermine efforts to end the recession," Stephen Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer said.

January 2009

Plumbing partnership links vets with jobs

Washington National Guard members and new veterans now have another pathway for pursuing meaningful employment. In an effort to fill vacancies in the trades industry, the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters forged a strategic team of organizations to provide veterans and guard members with a fast track to a high-demand industry.

January 2009
ACORN asks local businesses to hire

ACORN asks local businesses to hire

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) kicked off its "Economic Recovery for America and Washington Now!" Campaign today. Local supporters gathered in Tacoma to give speeches and show their support.

Brenda Leichsenring, ACORN Tacoma members president, wants to see local businesses not only hire more people, but give livable wages and benefits to those employees.

"It's imperative that they give these working people a chance," she said.

January 2009

Unemployment claims set new records

Despite snow-related closures and overloaded telephone systems, the Employment Security Department took in a record number of new unemployment claims in December.

Some 90,331 people applied for regular unemployment benefits in December, an increase of about 75 percent over December 2007. The previous record was set in December 2001. The week of Dec. 21-27, 2008, which included the Christmas holiday, also set a one-week record, taking in 25,687 new unemployment claims, nearly twice as many as the same week in 2007.

January 2009

Government reports growing unemployment

Unemployment rates were higher in November than a year earlier in 364 of the 369 metropolitan areas, lower in four areas and unchanged in one area, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.

Within the South Sound, the number of persons unable to find work rose. The Greater Olympia market counted 7,900 unemployed on Turkey Day, up by 600 from the month earlier and compared to 5,600 in November 2007.

January 2009

Minimum wage goes up, jobs go down

As Washington approaches yet another increase in the minimum wage rate on Jan. 1, the Employment Policies Institute released new data showing that last year's hike caused increased job loss in the state, particularly among vulnerable groups.

The 2009 hike to $8.55 marks the 12th straight year the wage has increased, which is a 66 percent hike over that time frame.

December 2008

Does 'snow' = unemployment pay?

Workers who lost pay because their employer closed due to the December snow storms potentially qualify for unemployment benefits, according to the State Employment Security Department.

However, unless the business was closed for more than a week, these employees would not receive an unemployment check, since benefits are not paid for the first week that a person becomes unemployed.

December 2008

Weather forces employers to make payroll decisions

It's what some are calling the storm of the decade and it seems so out of place in the South Sound. Unfortunately, the storm is here and businesses are having to make unfamiliar payroll decisions.

For example, should employees who can't leave their houses due to the snow be docked a day's pay? Must the employer treat salaried and hourly employees differently? Are employees allowed to make up work they missed because of the weather?

Lani Powell, president and founder of Powell Human Resources Consulting LLC, said these are questions that employers should have addressed in company policies and manuals before the first snow even landed here. However, since companies cannot turn back the hands of time, she said there are some things employers should keep in mind when making weather-related payroll decisions.

December 2008

Web scam targets unemployed

There is a consumer scam that preys on unemployed workers by offering to help file their claims for unemployment benefits - for a fee, something the state Web site will do for free.  

The scam works like this:  Unemployed workers must search for job openings as a requirement for receiving unemployment benefits. One of the places they search for openings is through a state Web site.

December 2008

People on the move

Thomas J. Sadler, CPA, of Lakewood, is the new chair of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

Sadler was installed during the association's 101st Annual Meeting in Boston. He is a past chair of the Washington State Board of Accountancy, and currently serves the Washington State Board of Accountancy as a strategic adviser. Sadler is also is a past president of Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Lakewood and a former member of the Tacoma/Pierce County Economic Development Board.

December 2008
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