Senator Thompson Helps Proctect Unemployed New Yorkers

Antoine M Thompson

May 21, 2009

Today, State Senator Thompson announced that the New York State Senate passed critical legislation (S.4110-A) that will provide an additional 13 weeks of extended benefits to nearly 120,000 current or soon-to-be unemployed New Yorkers. 

This legislation comes at a time when our economy is struggling, as Senator Thompson and his colleagues in the Majority are working to turn the economy around and help people find new, fair paying jobs.

Presently, unemployment benefits for approximately 56,000 jobless New York residents are set to expire starting this week; nearly 5,000 people will lose benefits every week over the next two to three months.

“The benefits on this legislation are significant for everyone involved. The recipients are people who, often through no fault of their own, find themselves without a job today,” said Senator Thompson.  “This legislation provides New Yorkers with vital assistance at a difficult time, keeping them afloat and off public assistance rolls. We’re taking the necessary steps to put our economy back on solid fiscal ground, but that won’t happen overnight. This legislation is a win-win for the taxpayer and our economy because it helps us keep our economy moving forward.”

New York will receive more than $645 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, funding that will be used to extend unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks to those currently unemployed. Additionally, federal stimulus dollars will also stabilize New York’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, which pays out all benefits for unemployed workers.

Because of the rising unemployment rates, with more than 160,000 jobs lost in the last year alone, that fund has been running in deficit since January of this year.

To provide unemployed individuals with an opportunity to return to the workforce, Senator Thompson will be sponsoring a job fair at the Buffalo Employment and Training Center at 77 Goodell Street in Buffalo.  The job fair will be held on Friday, May 22 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and will include in excess of thirty employers and five hundred job openings in several different categories.

 “Many people are in need of jobs right now and this job fair is a great way to connect the community with various employment opportunities,” said Senator Thompson.