Uncategorized

Governor Christie Signs Work-Sharing Law

Governor Christie of New Jersey signed into law last week a work-sharing program which is a proven tool that keeps workers on the job even when economic growth is weak or nonexistent.  This will be the 24th program in the nation.

The program works by reducing workers hours and using unemployment insurance benefits to pay a portion of the wages that employees lose. The programs are voluntary for employers and administered through the unemployment insurance system.  A similar program in Germany kept that country’s unemployment rate below 7 percent despite a steeper economic decline there relative to the US experience.

Such an approach benefits both employers and workers. Employers are able to maintain a trained workforce that can quickly ramp up production when the economy turns around and do not incur the costs of retraining. Eighty percent of employers in a study of short-time compensation programs in the United States reported employees on short-time were either as productive as or more productive than non-short-time employees. Additionally, employees maintain their income and access to benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. And because incomes are not significantly impacted, consumer demand remains relatively constant, thereby eventually supporting businesses to produce more goods and services. Estimates at the national level suggest that if employers of 60 million workers shortened their hours by 5 percent rather than instituted layoffs, 3 million jobs would be created.

As North Carolina looks for ways to address high unemployment, work sharing provides a promising model.

One Comment


  1. Tough Love

    January 19, 2012 at 11:00 am

    The comparison with Europe is flawed. In Europe, heath insurance is gov’t sponsored, not an employer cost. In the USA, the cost of employee healthcare is huge and a direct expense of the employer. Hence in the USA, fewer employees means much lower expenses, just from healthcare costs.

Check Also

Senate tax plan would eliminate health insurance coverage for millions to pay for tax cuts for richest Americans

The Senate tax bill released last week follows ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The controversy over “Silent Sam,” the Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, has been ra [...]

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up A blanket o [...]

This story is part of "Peak Pig," an examination of the hog industry co-published with Env [...]

Few issues in the North Carolina’s contentious policy wars have been more consistently front and cen [...]

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a jaw-dropping civil rights lawsuit again [...]

Will Burr and Tillis really vote for this? For much of the 20th Century, one of the labels that Amer [...]

President Trump and Congressional Republicans aim to rebrand enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest ho [...]

20—number of years since a bipartisan coalition in Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance P [...]

Spotlight on Journalism

We invite you to join a special celebration of investigative journalism! The evening will feature Mike Rezendes, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team known for their coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Tickets available NOW!

Spotlight On Journalism

This event will benefit NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Sponsorship opportunities available now!

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more