With the current state of the economy, businesses are searching for innovative approaches to survive the recession. A novel new program known as work-sharing, both cuts costs and prevents worker layoffs. This New York Times article describes the process and effects of work-sharing. Work-sharing operates by reducing employees’ weekly hours by around 20-40% and having states pay nearly half of the lost wages. This type of program benefits both the employer and worker because it prevents layoffs in a failing economy, allowing workers to keep their benefits and a large portion of their paycheck, while retaining employee talent and a skilled workforce.

When speaking of the new program, Andrew Nowakowsi, president of Tri-Star Industries, said “It’s a lot better than lay-offs. The alternative would have been to lay off three to seven workers, but that would mean that when things become busier, I’d run the risk of not having the trained people I need.”

Despite the large success of the program, only a small fraction of eligible companies are taking advantage of work-sharing. Government officials attribute the program’s lack of popularity due to under advertising by states causing many companies to be unaware of the program’s existence. States that already offer the program display an invested interest in work-sharing and hope it will spread to other states.

By Kaitlin Herbert