Why Do We Measure the Cost of Underemployment?
While the negative costs and impacts of rising unemployment are well documented and tracked, traditional national income indicators do not fully address the costs of underemployment. Further, those workers in short-term and cyclical unemployment are assisted through social programs, but underemployed workers are not. All workers not gainfully employed must be taken into account by economic measures and policymakers. Marylanders' social well-being is reduced when the underemployed are not working to their full potential by consequential negative feelings and actions, such as frustration and substance abuse.
The societal and economic costs of underemployment have steadily risen.
by Governor O'Malley
Maryland Business Works Program
In an effort to offer State level programmatic to support existing Maryland businesses for the retention and growth of their workforce, $1 million of federal grant funds was awarded to Maryland under the Workforce Investment Act. This funding will be used for training incumbent workers in specific skills that result in the workers' acquisition of transferable skills or an industry recognized certification or credential program.
Expanding Unemployment Insurance to Part Time Workers
The O'Malley Brown Administration successfully sponsored legislation that ensures Maryland's 420,000 part-time workers are able to receive unemployment benefits if they are experiencing temporary job loss. Previously, these workers and their employers were asked to pay into an unemployment insurance system that denied them benefits; today, these same workers and their families who are relying on income from a part-time job can draw benefits from this critical safety net program, giving them the opportunity to successfully transition into new employment.