Workforce Bulletin - April 4, 2014

This edition of Workforce Bulletin contains articles including:

NASWA and Employers Partner to Help Veterans Find Employment
On Wednesday, April 2, NASWA, DirectEmployers Association (DirectEmployers) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s (USCCF), Hiring our Heroes program (HOH), signed an agreement committing to partner with each other and leverage the strengths and expertise of all three organizations, in an effort to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses obtain meaningful civilian careers and to raise awareness around the important issue of veterans’ employment.

Senate to Pass EUC Extension Early Next Week, Uncertain Prospects in House
The Senate cleared the final procedural hurdle to pass an extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, voting 61 to 35 to limit debate on the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act of 2014 (H.R. 3979), which was amended by the Senate to provide a five month retroactive EUC extension bill, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2014 (S. 2149).

Labor Secretary Testifies before House Committee on Appropriations Labor, HHS, Education Subcommittee
On Wednesday, April 2, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez testified before the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies on the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) FY 2015 budget request.

ETA Releases Program Year 2014 WIA and Wagner-Peyser Program Allotments
The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) released in Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 18-13 the final Program Year (PY) 2014 allotments for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth programs and also the final PY 2014 Allotments for the Wagner-Peyser Act Employment Service (ES) program.

USDOL Deputy Labor Secretary and ETA Assistant Secretary Nominees Confirmed by Senate
Earlier this week, the Senate confirmed Christopher Lu for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Deputy Secretary of Labor Post and Portia Wu for Assistant Secretary for the Employment and Training Administration by a voice vote.

Senate Committee on Finance Passes Extension of Tax Extenders Package, includes WOTC
On Thursday, April 3, the Senate Committee on Finance passed draft legislation via voice vote, the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act, extending a number of expired tax credits for two years, after nearly 55 expired, including the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), at the end of 2013.

Unemployment Rate Remains Unchanged 6.7 Percent in March, Nonfarm Jobs Increase by 192,000
The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, April 4, reported the nation’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged in March, holding at 6.7 percent. At 10.5 million, the number of unemployed persons has declined by 1.2 million (or 0.8 percent) since March 2013.

BLS Commissioner Responds to NASWA Letter Requesting Three-Month Averages of State Employment and Unemployment Statistics be Published
On March 19, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Commissioner Erica Groshen sent a letter to NASWA President Mark Henry in response to a March 5 letter NASWA requesting BLS to calculate and publish monthly state, regional and area employment and unemployment statistics as three-month moving averages in addition to the usual monthly data the Bureau already publishes.

Benefit Accuracy Measurement Methodology Evaluation Webinar Now Available
Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration Office of Unemployment Insurance and Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., hosted a webinar to discuss Mathematica’s findings of their 2013 BAM study. Last year, Mathematica visited eight states (AL, DE, LA, ME, MN, TX, WA, and WV) along with reviewing national data for their analysis of the Benefit Accuracy Measurement methodology.

Unemployment Insurance Initial Claims Increase, Continued Claims Increase
The U.S. Department of Labor reported for the week ending March 29, 2014 seasonally adjusted unemployment insurance initial claims increased from the previous week’s revised figure.

Patrick Henning Named New Director of Californian Employment Development Department
Patrick Henning, 41, of West Sacramento, has been appointed director of the California Employment Development Department. Henning has been chief deputy appointments secretary in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. since 2011.

Save the Date - 2014 National UI Directors’ Conference and IT/Legal Issues Forum: October 20-23, 2014
NASWA and the Utah Department of Workforce Services invite you to join us in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 20-23, 2014, for this year’s 2014 National UI Directors’ Conference and IT/Legal Issues Forum.

NASWA to Host Webinar on OFCCP VEVRAA and 503 Regulations
Please join NASWA staff on Monday, April 7 at 2 PM (EST) for a briefing on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program’s (OFCCP) recent VEVRAA regulations and their impact on State Workforce Agencies.

NASWA Executive Director Receives WOW Award at DirectEmployers Annual Meeting
Last week, NASWA Executive Director Rich Hobbie received the WOW Award at the 2014 DirectEmployers Association Annual Meeting.

Federal Reserve Bank Podcast Now Available on NASWA Recovery Act Workforce and UI Report
Last month, NASWA Executive Director Rich Hobbie and George Washington University Amsterdam Professor of Public Service Burt Barnow participated in a podcast for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta discussing the report completed by NASWA on the response of Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs and the unemployment insurance program to the Great Recession entitled, Implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Workforce Development and Unemployment Insurance Provisions.

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