Many states, including Washington, have an interesting option to avoid layoffs in the bad economy: work-share. Instead of cutting people’s jobs, several people work fewer hours per week. The lost hours are at least partially subsidized by unemployment aid. The extra time can be spent looking for other employment, or at leisure. This way, the companies keep their trained/skilled labor, and the employees keep their jobs and (as required by the state) their benefits. When the economy picks up again, the employees go back to full-time, and no training or hiring time is required. The problem, of course, is twofold: 1) many states don’t have a program set up and don’t have the resources to set one up in the current bad economy, and even those states that do have to do outreach to sign up individual companies, and; 2) because much of the low-income sector involves unskilled, low-trained workers, this program would not interest the employers of the low-income, and thus the numerical majority of our society is unlikely to benefit from this program. Nevertheless, it is an interesting potential layoff-avoidance strategy. Click on the photo for the full story.