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February 2012 | See all news in this issue

Look for reform of federal unemployment insurance…

Changes to the unemployment system could find some bipartisan agreement in the coming months. Both the White House and Congressional Republicans have offered proposals to tie jobless benefits to job training requirements. Key lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have also supported the idea of linking the duration of jobless insurance to the local or regional economy so that benefits in harder-hit states would last longer while running out sooner in areas with low unemployment.

Democrats are not as excited about GOP suggestions to require drug testing or that unemployed workers take steps to obtain a high school diploma, and Republicans will oppose any moves to make benefits easier to obtain.

But there’s room for compromise in the coming months. Stay tuned.

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