INSIGHT NEEDED: Something Fishy in Unemployment Numbers Involving Tiers of Extended Unemployment Benefits; Democrat scam needs cracking open
I know there is a story here — and I think it’s a big deal — but I’ve been sitting on it for a month or so because I have trouble understanding the Unemployment Benefits system in the various states. My theory is that the Unemployment number being reported in the corrupt media is based in large part on the number of people collecting Unemployment Benefits in each individual state…but I think that number is being purposefully and artificially lowered in states like Illinois by removing people from Unemployment Benefits and “Extended Unemployment Benefits” and then placing them into a new category called “Emergency Services” that does not show up in the unemployment percentage that the corrupt media reports.
Let me explain how I think it works in Illinois, based on things I’ve learned while helping my friend Jazz maneuver the unemployment process here while he continues to seek work. I honestly believe that Democrats have cooked up this schemed to make it appear the unemployment rate is lower than it really is and are deliberately screwing over black people, in particular, in cities like Chicago where jobs are scarce but the state of Illinois as a whole needs to report a lower unemployment number than it really has to help Obama’s re-election.
I think this story could really hurt Democrats in the ten weeks remaining before the election if we can get it out there, or get it to a journalist who can dig deeper than I can. I just need your help in cracking it and getting to the meat of what’s going on.
Here’s the issue:
Until sometime this spring (when Democrats were still saying that if the unemployment rate dropped below 8% that Obama would win the election…which is something they just made up out of thin air and is not any standard that’s ever applied to re-electing an incumbent before), a citizen in Illinois had 99 weeks of unemployment benefits available to him or her through several programs that automatically enrolled the unemployed person once an initial application for benefits was filed. You might remember this fact from Newt Gingrich’s appearances in the GOP debates because he repeatedly talked about how a person could get an Associate’s Degree in the amount of time that they were collecting the full 99 weeks of benefits. Until sometime this spring (around April I think), in Illinois the 99 weeks of unemployment benefits looked like this:
* Around 26 (or so) weeks of unemployment benefits paid by the states and drawn from accounts set up by employers’ to cover the unemployment claims of their employees; I’ve been told that an employer pays into this fun annual with a cap of $11,000 or so per employer and an assigned fee of $700 or so per employee to be put into that fund.
* Once the unemployment benefits coming directly from the state (administered by the Illinois Department of Employment Services) are exhausted, the federal government takes over and starts paying the benefits to an unemployed worker beginning around week 27 or so…and there are multiple tiers of this federal program.
* Until this spring, there were at least Four Tiers of federal unemployment benefit payments…with Tier 1 beginning as soon as Illinois’ benefits ran out. Tier 1 of federal benefits were another 26 weeks or so of payments from the federal government administered by IDES.
* When Tier 1 ended, Tier 2 would immediately kick in. And that would last for another 26 or possibly just 16 weeks. It’s hard to tell because since the change was made I can’t find a lot of information online, but it’s clear that up until April once Tier 2 expired a Tier 3 was available after that and then a last Tier 4 that included another 6 weeks of benefits that would take an employed person through a total of 99 weeks of benefits here in Illinois.
* This spring, Illinois announced that “due to the improved economy and lowered unemployment numbers” that Illinois had lost Tiers 3 and 4 of the federal program. This means that anyone going on unemployment since April, or entering Tier 2 or above since April if they were already on benefits before, would no longer be eligible for the full 99 weeks of unemployment benefits.
* IDES (the Illinois Department of Employment Services) is a puzzle palace full of incredibly rude employees who are fond of hanging up the phone if you call to ask questions; they’re even ruder in person if you go to an office and they won’t allow you to make an appointment to speak to someone and won’t answer any questions if you come to the office for an explanation of the benefits system. You have to take a number and wait for a turn to talk to someone. Trying to help Jazz with his benefits, one day I came into the office around 10 am (soon after it opened) and was already number 80 and the counter read 21 in terms of my place in line. I didn’t get to talk to an agent of IDES until almost 4pm. Good thing I brought a book with me.
* IDES wouldn’t explain the tiers of the benefits system to me but said that Jazz shouldn’t worry because he could keep collecting benefits as long as he wants. The IDES agent speaking to me was brusque, but pleasant, and I think because Jazz is black and so was she that she was more candid with me sitting next to him than she would have been otherwise. She told us (really, she spoke to Jazz and kind of humored my presence because he asked me to be there too) that “it’s just for the election” that they had to say the Tier 3 and Tier 4 benefits went away but “that’s emergency benefits now which is under a different code”.
This is where I saw potential for a story, since I bet few of you out there know anything at all about unemployment benefits but you see in the corrupt media that it’s being reported that the unemployment rate in Illinois is going down (but still at above 8%). You’re already smart enough to realize that the number the corrupt media issues for unemployment does not include people who are no longer seeking work because they have given up, the people who are working part time when they need full time work, or people who are freelancers and self-employed who are not making any money right now.
One quick test I’ve been running periodically to see JUST HOW BAD it really is here in Illinois for job-seekers is my weekly check on available jobs for Jazz, as once a week I help him by sitting down and thinking of any job at all he would be good for. Back when I first moved to Chicago and was trying to find a permanent position here at a University and a few other nonprofits I liked, I would consistently see dozens if not hundreds of job openings at all of these places, but especially the Universities like Northwestern, the University of Chicago, IIT, DePaul, Loyola, etc. That was back in 2005 or so, before we entered into what is clearly to me an economic depression.
I did a lot of freelancing for Northwestern in the past and saw that a lot of the administrative positions there were held by recent Northwestern graduates who got jobs at the school once their bachelors were completed and then took advantage of the school’s tuition assistance program to help them pay for grad school (which is really smart, by the way, so pass that idea on to your kids if it hadn’t occurred to them). After a year or two, these people would vacate their jobs at Northwestern because they would complete their degrees and then move onto something else and their jobs would be open for new people to take for a while before they would leave too. Turnaround at Northwestern was ridiculously high, with the average being that no one stayed in a job for longer than a year despite the fact the pay was good, the benefits were OUTRAGEOUSLY GENEROUS (including the free or discounted tuition for classes there), and Evanston (where the school is) is a charming, safe, and wonderful place to work.
The first place I tried to find a job for Jazz was at Northwestern because I knew their job posting system and I also had a lot of contacts there…but I was stunned that in 2012 there are practically no job postings for the place anymore. When I looked into it deeper I found that the people who used to take jobs there for just a year or so before moving onto something “better” in the corporate world no longer can find jobs out there, so they don’t leave Northwestern as quickly as they used to.
Also, more Northwestern graduates can’t find work in the “outside world” so they take jobs at the school and then stay in them for more then one or two years because they can’t find work outside the school either. The result is that the working conditions at Northwestern have not changed and all the benefits are the same but suddenly their retention rate is in the 80s and 90-percents because THERE ARE NO OTHER JOBS OUT THERE IN CHICAGO.
The exact same phenomenon is happing at the University of Chicago, DePaul, Loyola, IIT, and the other schools that were always my first thought whenever a friend was looking for a job.
So, next I looked at corporations here in Chicago I was familiar with, including consulting firms I worked for in the past when I did healthcare and technical writing and marketing. None of them have as many job openings as I remember they had when I last looked at these places in 2007 or so. And when I say they have fewer postings, I’m talking the difference between having 100 openings on their jobs board back in 2007 and having maybe 5 up there now, and all of them are Senior VP of Marketing Specializing in Obscure Abilities We Can’t Find Anyone For. The only jobs available are the really specialized niche ones that recent college graduates and, really, anyone in their 20s and 30s don’t qualify for.
I asked a friend of mine who is a waiter if he found a new job after the restaurant he worked at closed and he told me that the “open calls” he goes to for jobs that he sees on Craigslist have 800-1000 people showing up to apply. PER DAY of the open call, which is usually two or three days. He told me in the past there would be, maybe, 100 applications for a single restaurant job in Chicago in 2007 but now it’s 3,000 people applying for one waitering job.
I try to be really careful with anecdotal evidence but I keep seeing the same trend over and over again: people are not hiring in Chicago, there is a dramatic new competition for jobs here that I never saw in the past (and it’s getting cutthroat as people get more desperate), and people who used to stay at a job for a year and then play musical chairs and go somewhere else are not staying put because they have nowhere to move to in a rival company.
There is just no way on Earth that the unemployment rate is really going down in Illinois…so the corrupt media and the state are lying when they say that “unemployment has improved to the point where we can eliminate Tier 3 and Tier 4 of benefits here”. There’s something fishy going on and I think I know what it is.
What I think is really happening
There are, so far, no food or unemployment riots happening in Chicago. There are the usual murder sprees on the Southside that make the news and here in Boystown those same criminals from the Southside keep coming north to rob, stab, burglarize, and pickpocket…but that’s been happening since 2007 and is more or less consistent. I would expect a lot more robberies and burglaries if people who had been collecting unemployment benefits were really kicked off the program when Tier 2 ended, as the state of Illinois is claiming happens when it reports that “unemployment rates are improving”.
I think after people leave Tier 2 they are being put into something that’s coded as “emergency benefits” and the emergency benefits are not being counted in the unemployment statistics.
I think Democrats have deliberately done this to fudge the unemployment numbers and to get people out of the unemployment system faster and into a new system where the corrupt media won’t report on those numbers.
Think about it…because I have to be right on this as it’s the only thing that makes sense.
Up until April here in Illinois, people would be counted as “on unemployment” through 99 weeks. That would keep the unemployment number stagnant (and incredibly high, like up into the 15-19% range based on what I am seeing). Those kinds of numbers would not be good for Democrats and Obama’s re-election.
So I believe Democrats in Illinois, and in other states probably, devised a scam where instead of someone moving from Tier 2 to Tier 3 of benefits an “emergency benefits category” replaced Tier 3 and Tier 4 and people are still being paid their benefits under this “emergency program” but are just not being counted in unemployment figures anymore.
Instead of having to count people as unemployed for 99 straight weeks the Democrats now only have to count them as unemployed for 52 weeks and get to claim that the unemployment numbers are not as bad as they really are because after Tier 2 ends the people collecting benefits disappear under that “emergency benefits” blanket.
I think if somehow we could expose this (while proving it is happening in a way I have not been able to think of yet) we could really do damage to Democrats and Obama between now and election day.
Can you look into this and see if I am right?
Can you get people like Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and others involved who have more resources than I do and can dig into this deeper?
It’s a challenge because Illinois makes it almost impossible to find any information on what’s happening now that Tier 3 and Tier 4 have been eliminated, but I just see no signs that people who would have been collecting benefits under those tiers are no longer receiving benefits. What happened to them, since it’s also clear that jobs are not being creating to employ them? The murder rate is not high enough here in Chicago that these people are dying or anything…and they aren’t vanishing into thin air in some Obama-induced rapture of hopeychange.
Where are these missing unemployment-collecting jobless people going after Tier 2 ends for them?
© 2012, Kevin DuJan. All rights reserved.
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