Monday, April 16, 2012

Employment Security’s Shared Work Program Helps Keep Businesses Afloat

More than two-thirds of employers who participated in Employment Security’s Shared-Work layoff-avoidance program in 2011 say the program helped them survive the recession. Another 20 percent of businesses reported that it probably had.

These amazing results show that the Shared-Work Program is one of the most effective tools offered by any government agency to save jobs and businesses. The program allows employers to reduce the hours of their full-time employees by up to 50 percent, while the workers collect partial unemployment benefits to make up for some of the lost wages. This provides business owners with immediate payroll savings without losing skilled employees.

In 2011, 3,176 businesses and more than 38,000 employees were approved to participate in Shared Work, the second-highest year on record. The program also saved an estimated 26,000 jobs and more than $42 million in unemployment-benefit payouts in 2011.

Most employers who responded to Employment Security’s survey reported cutting their payroll by 20 percent or more. Additionally, 52 percent of businesses saved up to two jobs, while 30 percent saved three to five jobs, and another 12 percent saved five to 10 jobs.

Better yet, nearly 100 percent of participating employers said they would apply for the program again and recommend it to other struggling businesses.

If your business is struggling and you’ve been considering layoffs as a way to cut costs, check out Employment Security's Shared-Work Program as an alternative.

Thousands of Washington businesses have used the program to cut costs and hang on to their most valuable resource – their trained employees.

To learn more about the Shared-Work Program, visit, search on “shared work,” or call 800-752-2500.

By Guest Blogger Paul Trause, Employment Security Commissioner

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