Work Share

work share
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Work share programs let businesses temporarily reduce the hours of their employees, instead of laying them off during economic downturns. Technically referred to as short time compensation, the goal of work sharing programs is to reduce unemployment.

Work sharing should not be confused with job sharing, which allows two part-time employees to share one full-time job.  Instead, work sharing allows a full-time worker’s hours to be reduced, in lieu of laying off the worker.

Work share programs benefit businesses, workers and states. Businesses retain their trained workforce, for easy recall to full-time work when economic conditions improve. Workers keep their jobs instead of being laid off, and collect reduced unemployment benefits to partially replace their lost wages. States save money by paying only partial unemployment claims, instead of paying full benefits to laid-off workers.

Under approved work share programs, employees qualify for a percentage of unemployment benefits, equal to the percentage by which their hours have been reduced. For example, an employee whose hours are cut by 10% would qualify for 10 percent of the state’s established weekly unemployment benefit amount. While that does not fully replace the lost wages, the amount supplements a worker’s income until they are recalled to full-time work.
NCSL – State Work Share Programs



How to finance a state work share without federal dollars?

  • Close corporate loopholes in the state sales tax
  • Reallocate some of the $800 million wasted on border security


Texas Constitution
Code – Labor Code
Chapter – 215 Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program


Texas Workforce Commission – Shared Work

Canada – Work Sharing

CEPR – States Could Save $1.7 Billion per Year with Federal Financing of Work Sharing

CEPR – Work Sharing: The Hidden Secret of Germany’s Economic Success

CEPR – Germany Has Outperformed the U.S. Because of Work Sharing

CEPR – Work Sharing – The quickest route back to full employment

Pew – States Risk Losing Millions of Federal Work-Share Dollars

Bloomberg – U.S. Work Share Program Helps Employers Avoid Layoffs

Bloomberg – Japan: Work-Sharing Will Prolong the Pain

AARP Public Policy Institute – Saving Jobs Through Work Sharing

NELP – A Breakthrough for Work Sharing

NELP – Seizing the Moment: A Guide to Adopting State Work Sharing Legislation After the Layoff Prevention Act of 2012

CLASP – Work Sharing An Alternative to Layoffs

AEI – Worksharing and long-term unemployment

AEI – Work-Sharing Could Work for Us

AEI – The human disaster of unemployment

Houston Chronicle – Hey, buddy, can you spare a work share?

NPR – Companies Implement Part-Time Layoffs

NPR – Unemployment Cure Could Lie In Job Sharing

New York Times – Work-Sharing May Help Companies Avoid Layoffs

Wall Street Journal – Cutting Hours Instead of Jobs

The Globe and Mail – How to make work sharing work for you

Brookings – Encouraging Work Sharing to Reduce Unemployment

Huffington Post – Japan: Recession Spurs “Work-Sharing” To Avoid Layoffs

Japan Times – Firms warming to work-sharing

NBER – Has Work-Sharing Worked in Germany?

Governing – Work-Share, Save Jobs

Canada doubles length of time employees can benefit from work-sharing program



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