September 28, 2012

CT's rising mfg. wages lift jobless paychecks

HBJ file photo
HBJ file photo
Connecticut's jobless will see a rise in weekly benefits due to the climb in the average manufacturing wages the past year.

The good pay news for Connecticut's manufacturing workforce is even better for the state's jobless, many of whom will soon see the maximum they collect weekly climb by $18, authorities say.

State Labor Department Commissioner Dennis C. Murphy announced Friday that the maximum will climb to $591 from $573, starting with claims filed on or after Oct. 7.

The trigger for the state's jobless-benefit hike is tied directly to the average manufacturing wage in the state. That average is at $1,046 a week, up from $996 a year ago, the state labor agency said.

The agency reviews the average manufacturing wage annually to determine the maximum benefit for jobless workers.

Individuals who established a claim before Oct. 7 and who have been collecting unemployment insurance benefits will be unaffected by the increase. The weekly dependency allowance for each dependent, at $15 with a maximum of $75, remains unchanged.

For the 12 months ending Aug. 31, regular jobless benefits averaged $308 per week and claimants received an average 18.6 weeks of compensation, not including federal extensions, the state labor department said. A year earlier, weekly benefit payments averaged $298 for an average of 19.6 weeks.

Regular state unemployment benefits are funded by a separate assessment paid by 98,300

Connecticut employers. The tax is based on the first $15,000 of each worker's annual wage.

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