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Augusta unemployment claims dropping since start of shutdown

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Augusta workers filing for state unemployment benefits as a result of the partial government shutdown have significantly dropped since the first week of the fiscal gridlock.

On Tuesday, there were 539 unemployment insurance claims filed in Georgia by furloughed federal workers and employees working for private companies with a federal contract, bringing the total new claims number to about 10,300 since the shutdown, according to data released by the Georgia Department of Labor.

Only 11 of those claims were filed in Augusta; just less than two weeks earlier there had been about 980 claims coming from the city in a four-day span – the most of all Georgia cities, according to department spokesman Sam Hall.

Of the 5,000 claims applied for across Georgia since Oct. 4, about half came from seven cities that have military bases: Augusta, Columbus, Marietta, Hinesville, Warner Robins, Kings Bay and Savannah.

The state’s labor department has been keeping a daily hand count on new claims filed in those military communities to see whether the trend continued, but many of the furloughed employees have since returned to work, said Hall, adding that he expects any remaining claims to come from Atlanta because of the area’s high concentration of federal agencies.

Nearly all of the 490 civilian employees furloughed at Fort Gordon returned to work early last week, but more than 1,000 contracted workers at Savannah River Site remain out of work, with additional furloughs expected if an agreement to resolve the fiscal gridlock isn’t soon reached.

There are stipulations regarding which and how many displaced workers will actually see unemployment benefits, Hall said.

Workers earning more than $330 in a week would be ineligible to receive benefits, meaning that some jobless people missing work for just a couple of days probably would not get a payment, Hall said.

In addition, furloughed federal workers would be required to repay any benefits they received during the shutdown if the Senate approves a bill to provide them with back pay. Furloughed employees contracted through private companies would not qualify for those funds.

Comments (5) Add comment
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wildman
1121
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wildman 10/15/13 - 07:44 pm
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Just wait

It will pick up after the 7 day waiting period is over, especially in SC.

Little Lamb
45989
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Little Lamb 10/15/13 - 09:56 pm
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Wrong

It is immoral for furloughed federal workers to receive unemployment compensation benefits, because they know they will receive full back pay when the Continuing Resolution is signed into law. I guess it will be a Merry Christmas indeed for furloughed federal workers.

wildman
1121
Points
wildman 10/16/13 - 04:39 am
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Check mate

Contractors can file for unemployment after the 7 day waiting period.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 10/16/13 - 08:16 am
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1
Little Lamb. SRR and WSI
Unpublished

Little Lamb. SRR and WSI workers on furlough are NOT government workers, and therefore are not eligible for the back pay.

Little Lamb
45989
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Little Lamb 10/16/13 - 08:30 am
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Government Workers

I was talking about federal government employees, not independent contractors. However, independent contractors should not be eligible for unemployment compensation should they? Does their contract guarantee them a salary under any and all conditions? I thought that was the deal for contractors — no work, no pay.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 10/16/13 - 08:38 am
1
1
The only people at SRS who
Unpublished

The only people at SRS who work for the government are the actual DOE employees. Nearly ALL of the people working at SRS that were furloughed are contractors. And no....unemployment compensation is an entitlement for all workers who are not paid due to no fault of their own. Just like everyone else in the country.

Little Lamb
45989
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Little Lamb 10/16/13 - 09:37 am
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Seeking Employment

Do you have to provide evidence that you are actively seeking employment to receive unemployment compensation? Any day now, these people will be back at work. How honest would they be to tell the unemployment department worker that they are actively seeking employment elsewhere?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 10/16/13 - 09:54 am
1
1
They have the same
Unpublished

They have the same requirements as any other person receiving unemployment. Would you think it is fair for them to just do without? Would you like to go a month or more without pay, just because you MIGHT have a job at the end of that wait?

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