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Pennsylvania Careers Lost, Workers Get Help

Posted on January 26, 2009

Many people are finding themselves without a Pennsylvania career.

According to a press release, the State of Pennsylvania‘s non-farm employment dropped by 27,100 jobs during December, while the unemployment rate increased to 6.7 percent. While not many jobs have been gained, the state’s unemployment rate has been equal to or less than the national unemployment rate for 70 of the past 72 months.

“We are experiencing some of the most significant job losses we’ve seen in 18 years,” Governor Edward G. Rendell said in the release. “These are difficult times for Pennsylvania’s working families, and even more difficult for those who have lost their jobs due to the current economic conditions. I want to reassure residents that we are committed to providing them with the resources they need to make it through these tough times.”

Those who are facing unemployment do have several options, and the Department of Labor & Industry is doing all it can to make it easier to file for unemployment compensation benefits. People can file for unemployment compensation benefits online at www.dli.state.pa.us or by calling the Department of Labor & Industry at (888) 313-7284.

The DLI has expanded the hours of its statewide unemployment compensation services toll-free number from 47 hours per week to 75 hours per week. The DLI also is implementing an enhanced call-in procedure for faster service.

Those filing by phone should do so according to the last digit of their Social Security number. People with a Social Security number ending in an even number should call on Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday, while those ending with an odd number should call on Monday, Wednesday or Friday.

The unemployed also can turn to the new pilot program at PA CareerLinks, which helps individuals seeking unemployment compensation benefits file claims online without a paper application.

“I encourage anyone who is unemployed to take advantage of PA CareerLink system to use the reemployment services that are available free of charge,” Rendell noted in the release.

As part of the launch of HereToHelp.pa.gov, the unemployed also were recently helped with a two-week state employee food drive, which resulted in about 5 tons of food, or enough to provide 8,000 meals. The site is a new online resource that provides access to state programs that offer such things as home heating assistance and children’s healthcare.

“Our dedicated state employees want to help,” Rendell added. “I hope people will take advantage of the assistance offered by the commonwealth. While we are working to provide assistance to individuals during these difficult economic times, we are also redoubling our strategic job creation efforts to bring us out of this economic slump.

“I recently announced investments in Bucks, Centre, Erie, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties that will create or retain nearly 400 manufacturing and technology jobs,” Rendell continued. “These are the types of investments that will move us out of our current economic situation and return us to economic growth.”

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