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.