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I'm currently reluctantly self-employed after being laid off at age 56 in 2001 (part of an 80% work force reduction). I have two observations that apply to today.
1) In many skilled trades (I'm in printing) it's more probable that you'll find "per diem" or part-time work without benefits, and this is almost always the employers' choice. It's ALWAYS to an employers' advantage to have disposable journeyman-level skilled workers on tap without having to hire that talent full-time with benefits. Unemployment Insurance should allow the unemployed to take this work as it comes along without penalizing the wokers so heavily for taking a day or two of work as it becomes available, or taking a part-time no-benefits gig that pays an amount that basically wipes out the weekly unemployment benefit and shortens the length of time one is qualified to collect unemployment since long-term unemployment is becoming the norm.
2) A second point related to the topic has to do with loans taken by workers against their 401K's. Many workers who've been in a job for a while take low interest loans against their 401K's without tax or penalties, paying it back as part of their regular paycheck deductions. When somebody gets laid off the outstanding amount of the loan becomes due in full or else the amount is deemed a disbursement to the employee and therefore subject to both taxes and penalties. This hits the worker at a time when they're most economically vulnerable and unable to deal with either a lump-sum repayment or absorbing the hit of back taxes and penalties for a "disbursement" that wasn't the choice of the poor unemployed schmuck. Both the Feds and State tax collectors should set up a system where people unemployed against their will can continue repaying these loans at the rate they were while employed and not add governmental abuse to the ordeal of unemployment.
posted 4 years, 1 month ago
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