Paterson Administration Proposes Raise in Jobless Benefits

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Currently, New York unemploymen benefits are about a third of pay.

    Governor Paterson has proposed legislation raising New York's unemployment benefit by $70 a week starting next year.

    State Labor Commissioner Colleen Gardner says the current level of benefits is one of the lowest weekly rates in the country and just isn't enough. The maximum benefit amount is $405 a week, which amounts to 36 percent of the average weekly wage. But the average payout is around $330 a week.

    Hundreds of thousands of unemployed New Yorkers are trying to feed their families, pay bills and rent, and cover everyday expenses on this benefit, at a time when there are five job seekers for every opening.

    In a news conference today at noon, Gardner will talk about how the proposed legislation will benefit businesses in the long run and 560,000 jobless New Yorkers in the short term.