unemployment | WAMC



Several New York state Senate Democrats are calling for the state Department of Labor to forgive unemployment overpayments.

Book cover for "The Good Hand"
Penguin/Random House

  Like thousands of restless men left unmoored in the wake of the 2008 economic crash, Michael Patrick Smith arrived in the fracking boomtown of Williston, North Dakota five years later homeless, unemployed, and desperate for a job. Renting a mattress on a dirty flophouse floor, he slept boot to beard with migrant men who came from all across America and as far away as Jamaica, Africa and the Philippines. They ate together, drank together, argued like crows and searched for jobs they couldn’t get back home. Smith’s goal was to find the hardest work he could do – to find out if he could do it.

His book this time in his life is "The Good Hand: A Memoir of Work, Brotherhood, and Transformation in an American Boomtown."

Representative Richard E. Neal
neal.house.gov / neal.house.gov

Will the unemployed get a new round of federal payments?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Representative Richard Neal continues his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

This interview was recorded October 5.

A picture of a $20 bill, a $10 bill and a $1 bill
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The New York State Department of Labor says the federal government has approved three more weeks of the Lost Wages Assistance program. 

A picture of a $20 bill, a $10 bill and a $1 bill
Jim Levulis / WAMC

New York’s budget director says the state will apply for the federal government’s Lost Wages Assistance program that could lead to $300 in additional weekly unemployment benefits for eligible recipients. 

8/7/20 Panel

Aug 7, 2020
Microphone in radio studio

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator, Visiting Professor at Bennington College, President of Beyond Plastics Judith Enck, Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti, and Actor and Educator Kristen van Ginhoven - co-founder and Artistic Director of WAM Theatre.

On this federal holiday, millions of Americans have been out of work for two months. 

Petition Urges NYS To Fix Unemployment System

May 16, 2020
Courtesy of NYS Senator Sue Serino

With New York’s backlog of claims from the COVID-19 pandemic, a state senator from the Hudson Valley has joined six of her Republican colleagues in launching a petition urging New York to fix its unemployment system.

Empire State Plaza

New York State is predicting a $445 billion economic impact from COVID-19, greater than 2008 Great Recession and the recession following the 9/11 attacks. Groups are now analyzing how each region’s economies will be affected during a prolonged recovery.

Fahy kicked off the Zoom session, dubbed "Moving Forward: Adapting Your Job Search and Career Transitioning During COVID-19."

With much of the American economy effectively shut down, Albany area state Democratic Assemblymembers Pat Fahy and John McDonald held a virtual town hall Thursday on career transitioning during the pandemic.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley / WAMC

Complaints about New York’s unemployment offices continue, even though Governor Andrew Cuomo and his aides have said they are improving the antiquated system. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo says many New Yorkers trying to get through to the state’s websites and phone lines to apply for unemployment aid are facing long waits and crashing systems amid the coronavirus pandemic.

IntraPac in Plattsburgh, NY
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Last week, a plastic container manufacturer in Plattsburgh announced the company was consolidating and closing its plant in Plattsburgh.  Within hours of the announcement, IntraPac’s local managers say other manufacturers in the region “inundated” them with phone calls seeking to hire their workers.


There is a widening income gap in the Hudson Valley despite growth in wages and employment. That’s according to a report released Monday by the Marist Bureau of Economic Research.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The Vermont Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate dropped slightly, to 3.1 percent, in July.

unemployment application

The Vermont Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate for May remains unchanged from April at 3.1 percent.

The failure of numerous administrations to connect the dots in terms of manufacturing job loss truly confounds me. First, let’s gather the facts (not fake facts, but facts as defined by Webster) about manufacturing job loss, when viewed through the prism of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). All of this came to mind as I continued to ponder President Trump’s back and forth on whether or not China was a currency manipulator, or whether to tear up or renegotiate NAFTA. Understanding, to at least some degree, President Trump’s desire to secure China’s cooperation relative to North Korea, abandoning a trade issue to entice China seems at best short sighted.

unemployment application

The Vermont Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of 1 percent in January to 3.1 percent.

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

Malissa Pilette-McClenon - Director of Development and Marketing - YWCA of the Greater Capital Region to discuss the Jamison-Rounds Ready for Work Program – designed to help underprivileged women find and keep employment and/or pursue education. 

  Young black men are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts. The unemployment rate for African Americans has been double that of whites for more than half a century. And yet Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first black president spelled doom for racist policies and racist beliefs. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America; it has simply become more sophisticated and more insidious.

Award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, if we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society.


The Vermont Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in February, unchanged since January.


The Vermont Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate dropped to 3.4 percent in January, down one tenth of a percentage point over December.

At this season in which charity is high on our agenda, I’d like to address some economic issues. I recently spoke with you about what the oligarchs are doing to American democracy. This time I’d like to talk with you about is happening to our jobs and wages. Jobs have recovered slowly from the 2008 crash; wages have flatlined for a decade. Candidates should be talking about jobs and wages.

Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate held steady last month at 3.6 percent.

Pat Bradley/WAMC

Although the unemployment rate in New York’s North Country remains above the statewide average, businesses are hiring.  In Plattsburgh this afternoon dozens of companies have been participating in a job fair seeking qualified employees.

Unemployment Down, But Dream Jobs Still Out Of Reach

Aug 30, 2015
Acadia Otlowski













In New York and Connecticut, unemployment is at 5.4 percent, the lowest it has been in seven years. Nationwide, unemployment has dropped its lowest levels since the recession, giving those entering the workforce more opportunity. But for many, that elusive dream job is still out of reach. 

U.S. Army

A New York congressman is sponsoring a bipartisan bill to reform the veterans employment program.

Connecticut's Labor Department says the state added jobs for a sixth straight month in July, dropping the unemployment rate to 6.6 percent.

Massachusetts has announced a rebranding of its regional employment offices as part of a campaign to get the long-term unemployed back to work.

Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rachel Kaprielian said her office will put up 62 billboards across the state, put ads on the internet, and signs on mass transit in an effort to increase usage of the state’s 33 one-stop career centers.

" We  are rebranding our efforts so that job seekers know how many services we offer to the job seeker and to the employer."

    Long-term unemployment affects millions of Americans.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Paul Tonko tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the unemployed deserve support in their time of need.