As Job Losses Mount, Laid-off Workers Need Stronger Unemployment Safety Net
Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski
“California’s workers got the latest in a string of bad news with today’s release of the state’s newest unemployment figures. Between September and October, California’s unemployment rate jumped from 7.7% to 8.2% – its highest rate in 14 years. There are now more out of work Californians than ever before.
“While the numbers are staggering in their size, it is important to remember each family behind the numbers. For each of the 26,000 jobs lost last month, a family struggles to buy groceries and pay the mortgage.
“For these families and those who have already been without work for months,
unemployment benefits are a safety net to keep them from falling into the economic
abyss. As unemployment soars, it’s bad economics for Governor Schwarzenegger to
propose devastating cuts and limits on eligibility for unemployment benefits. His antiworker proposals are economically backwards and will issue another blow to laid-off workers and their communities.
“California’s unemployment benefits already rank 42nd in the country when compared to our wages. Now, more than ever, our state’s unemployed families need better
unemployment benefits, not another threat to their pocketbooks. Strengthening and
stabilizing the unemployment system must be a top priority for the governor and the new legislature.”