Thursday, February 16, 2006

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The GAO on TAA

The Government Accountability Office has a new survey of workers at five plant who lost their jobs due to trade competition -- the clear losers of trade liberalization. The survey was designed to see the extent to which Trade Adjustment Assistance -- a program born in the 1974 Trade Act and reformed as recently as 2002 -- was reaching the people it's supposed to.

Here are the key results:

At the time GAO conducted its survey, most of the workers had either found a new job or retired. At three sites, over 60 percent of the workers were reemployed. At another site, only about 40 percent were reemployed, but another third had retired. And at the final site, about a third were reemployed, but this site had the highest proportion of workers who entered training and most of them were likely still in training. The majority of reemployed workers at four of five sites earned less than they had previously—replacing about 80 percent or more of their prior wages—but at one site over half the reemployed workers matched their prior wages.

Few workers at each site received either the health insurance benefit or the wage insurance benefit available to some older workers. No more than 12 percent of workers at each site received the health insurance
benefit, and at four of five sites, fewer than half the workers who visited a one-stop center were aware of it. Many workers did not use it because they had other coverage or because the cost of available health insurance was too high. No more than one in five of the older workers at each site received the wage insurance benefit, and at two sites, fewer than half the older workers who visited a center were aware of it.

posted by Dan on 02.16.06 at 04:30 PM


They write "retired" as if no recently unemployed 60-year-old with a sucky pension gave up trying to find a new job and accepted a poorer lifestyle by doing so.

posted by: rilkefan on 02.16.06 at 04:30 PM [permalink]

Gee, 5 plants, that's a pretty extensive research sample.

Any among the reemployed, how did the income and benefits compare?

Will read the entire report and see what I think.

posted by: save_the_rustbelt on 02.16.06 at 04:30 PM [permalink]

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