State effort to get long-term jobless back to work showing successA new initiative to get unemployed South Dakotans back in the job market is showing promise after one month, state officials say.
By: Frannie Sprouls, The Daily Republic
A new initiative to get unemployed South Dakotans back in the job market is showing promise after one month, state officials say.
On May 1, Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced a new initiative called Re-Employment Intensive Services, to help unemployment insurance claimants get back to work quickly.
One month later, the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation reported 186 people had participated statewide. As of June 12, 94 were still receiving services.
The program requires anyone who has received unemployment benefits for more than 10 weeks to seek one-on-one assistance from a DLR local office.
Daugaard said previous studies have shown when unemployment claimants receive one-on-one help, the amount of time on benefits is shorter.
“So far, that is proving to be true with this initiative,” Daugaard said. “The Department of Labor and Regulation is providing excellent services that are getting people back to work.”
Failure to participate in the program results in the loss of unemployment benefits.
Those not included are those working seasonal jobs, said Pauline Heier, DLR director of the Division of Unemployment Insurance.
Dawn Dovre, DLR director of public affairs, said participants are looking at different career options, examining their skill sets, going through training and looking at job openings.
Of the original set of participants, 92 either found new jobs or are pursuing other opportunities.
“Some of them may have gone to school on their own that we can’t account for,” Dovre said. “They may have found a job on their own or they moved out of state.”
The DLR does not have much information beyond the total numbers, such as which areas of the state most claimants are residing.
Dovre said as this is a new initiative that is only one month old, the DLR will have a better idea as the program progresses.
“We’re not breaking (the numbers) down by area,” Dovre said. “We’re still not able to see which employer people have gone to.”