Testimony In Support of Work Sharing Before the Interim Study Committee on Employment and Labor
Good morning Chairman Ober, members of the committee: thank you for providing me with the opportunity to testify at today’s hearing. My name is Derek Thomas and I am a senior policy analyst for the Indiana Institute for Working Families. We combine research and analysis of federal and state legislation, public policies, and programs to help low-income Hoosier families achieve and maintain economic self-sufficiency. I have been researching work sharing for the past several years and would be happy to answer questions, including data/best-practices, following today’s hearing.
Work sharing (first initiated federally by President Reagan) is a voluntary and cost-equivalent alternative to traditional unemployment benefits being used in more than half of U.S. states (including neighbors, MI, OH and WI), and is credited with saving nearly a half-million jobs that would have otherwise been lost due to the Great Recession. Because work sharing benefits the employer, the employee and the state, work sharing has rare bipartisan support from economists, policymakers, labor and business. In fact, it’s so rare to find opposition to work sharing, it even passed out of the 112th Congress as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 with support from now Governor Pence, Senator Lugar and Representatives Donnelly, Stutzman and Young. It’s considered a win-win-win – here’s why: