A little known but very powerful policy tool in supporting jobless workers is called work sharing and the federal funding to administer the program will run out for states if they don’t apply before December.
Work sharing helps employers and workers alike to weather economic downturns by providing partial unemployment benefits to workers who have their hours reduced temporarily, allowing employers to ramp up their time when demand for goods and services returns.
There are 27 states that have adopted work sharing. Nebraska most recently. North Carolina has legislation drafted and is just waiting for a hearing.
From the recent article in the Washington Post:
Economists on both the right and the left say the program can be highly effective in reducing unemployment. According to government data, worksharing saved half a million jobs between 2008 and 2013. New applications have fallen off as the economy has strengthened, but an average of about 20,000 people a week are still enrolled in the program.