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TABLE 6.—Percentage increase in average weekly wages, 1939–52, and in maximum
basic weekly benefit, December 1939–December 1953
TABLE 7.-Summary of duration provisions, December 1949 and 1953
[Duration in 52-week period]
1 Minimum applies to claimant with minimum qualifying wage concentrated largely or wholly in high quarter and weekly benefit amount above minimum. Larger number of weeks for claimant with minimum weekly benefit. Statutory minimum for Alaska, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey (1949), and Utah.
2 Higher figure applies to claimants who have been employed in Colorado for 5 consecutive calendar years with wages in excess of $1,000 per year and no benefits received during period.
3 If benefit is less than $3 (1949) or $5 (1953), benefits are paid at rate of $3 (1949) or $5 (1953; no qualifying wage and no minimum or annual benefits are specified (1953).
Weighted schedule in percentage of average State wage.
TABLE 8.—Number of claimants exhausting wage credits and ratio to first payments,
by State, calendar years 1949, 1950, 1953
of first payments
41.4 19.7 20.3 31.3 16.2 22.9
8.6 21.1 29.7 41.4 33.8 19.5 20.7 16.6 28.3 32.1 24. 2 21.7 41.7 21.9 19.2 27.4 19.5 20.9 34.7 16.8 14.8 21.4 14.1 13. 2 18. 8 22.3 11.9 21.7 17. 6 12.5 38.3 18. 2 19.7 28. 6 35. 2 26. 2 25.7 36.0 16.4 16.4 39. 1 17.8 18.8 33. 2 28.6
TABLE 9.-Computation of weekly benefit amount
$1 to $8.
total may not exceed 6 percent of high-quarter wages.
of high-quarter wages.
1 When State uses a weighted high-quarter formula, annual-wage formula, or average-weekly-wage for mula, approximate fractions or percentages are taken at midpoint of lowest and highest normal wage brackets. When dependents' allowances are provided, the fraction applies to the basic benefit amount.
2 When 2 amounts are given, higher includes dependents' allowances except in Colorado where higher amount includes 25 percent additional for claimants employed in Colorado by covered employers for 5 consecutive calendar years with wages in excess of $1,000 per year and no benefits received; duration for such claimants is increased to 26 weeks. Higher figure for minimum weekly benefit amount includes maximum allowance for 1 dependent at minimum weekly amount. In the District of Columbia same maximum with or without dependents. Maximum augmented payment to individuals with dependents not shown for Massachusetts since any figure presented would be based on an assumed maximum number of dependents.
EXCERPT DEALING WITH UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FROM THE REPORT OF THE
RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE ADOPTED BY THE 20th NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON LABOR LEGISLATION
The 20th National Conference on Labor Legislation is as dedicated as are the President and the Secretary of Labor to the maintenance of a healthy and prosperous economy. The conference commands and sunports the steps they have pronosed “to protect and maintain economic stability” at a high level.
Governors' delegates from State labor departments and organized labor in 41 States and Territories bring to this problem an un“aralleled collective experience with the employment conditions of millions of American wage earners, a major segment of the population whose well-being is essential to economic health and prosperity.
At this critical time, this conference reemphasizes certain basic truths under which this Republic has become a great industrial nation. That labor is not a commodity, that free collective bargaining best promotes the climate of industrial harmony in which free enterprise and free labor advance the standard of living, that the best antidote to the prospect of a recession is to place increased purchasing power in the hands of all American citizens so that they may buy the products of industry and keep the wheels of business turning.
No better means of exparding purchasing power exists than the enactment and vigorous enforcement of sound labor standards. The conference therefore strongly reaffirms its support of a floor under wages, raising of child labor standards to guarantee suitable job standards for the Nation's youth and to prevent child-labor com; etition with rightful employment for adult workers and heads of families, sound standards of industrial safety and health, of workmen's compensation and unemployment insurance, and better wages and working conditions for migrant labor. We commend President Eisenhower for his awareness of the deteriorating employment situation throughout the country and his eagerness to remedy it by such means as are at the command of the Government. We commend particularly his proposals for an expanded public works program to provide employment and increased business activities and we urge the Congress to provide necessary appropriations immediately to carry out the President's purpose.
In harmony with these reaffirmations, the conference discussed the common and current problems of wage earners and makes the following recommendations:
(1) Unemployment is a problem national in character and is currently increasing. There has been a tendency over the past several years to weaken and undermine Federal participation in, and influence over, the present Federal-State program of unemployment compensation. Funds presently appropriated and available for administration of State unemployment compensation laws are inadequate and have resulted in delaying payment of benefits by biweekly instead of weekly reporting. Increases in the load of initial and continued claims for benefits have resulted in a mounting backlog of cases and delays in payment: Therefore be it
Resolved, That this conference endorse the request made to the Congress for a supplemental appropriation of $18 million needed to reestablish weekly reporting, keep current the claims load and meet obligations for wage and salary adjustments incurred by the State administrators; and be it further
Resolved, That the conference oppose the adoption of H. R. 5173 in its present form and support amendments thereto which would (a) provide for grants to distressed States instead of loans and (b) eliminate automatic distribution of earmarked funds and, in lieu thereof, establish an adequate contingency fund for administrative purposes which may be allocated to the several States by the Secretary of Labor on the basis of demonstrated need in conformity with the standards in the Social Security Act; and be it finally
Resolved, That this conference respectfully advise the Secretary of Labor that, in its judgment, if H. R. 5173 were amended as herein proposed it would strengthen the unemployment compensation program rather than weaken it as the present bill would do, and request that the Secretary transmit this resolution to the appropriate committees of the Congress.
(2) State unemployment benefits have failed to keep pace with rising living costs and wage levels. When first paid under the program, unemployment benefits averaged from three-fifths to two-thirds of average weekly wages paid in covered employments, whereas they now average only about two-fifths of such wages. At present from two-thirds to nine-tenths of weekly benefit payments are at the maximum. The impact of sharply rising unemployment is now more severe because a large proportion of workers exhaust their rights before being reemployed, demonstrating the unrealistic character of maximum duration periods. The present unemployment compensation program does not effectively sustain purchasing power because nearly 342 million wage earners are excluded from State benefits since they work in small firms not covered by the system: Therefore be it
Resolved, That this conference support amendments to the Social Security Act to provide for the addition of the following Federal standards required of each State: (a) maximum benefit amounts shall not be less than two-thirds of the average weekly wage in covered employment; (6) duration of the period in which benefits shall be payable to eligible unemployed workers shall not be less than